Navigation Links
Embryonic patterning makes the feathers fly

How the chicken got its feathers in the right place is not a Rudyard Kipling “Just So?story, but an illustration of how simple causes can stack up into complicated results. For a chicken, it’s the difference between having feathers arranged in spots or stripes. For biologists at the University of Southern California and mathematicians at Oxford University in the UK, it’s all a question of patterning.

To understand patterning on the molecular and the systems level, the researchers looked at how feather patterns are laid down in embryonic chickens. Feathers, or more properly feather buds, will appear on the skin of the developing embryo wherever fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is activated. The mystery has been how a pattern of activation was laid down by FGF. Speculation pointed to a downstream cellular signaling pathway but which one (and if it was just one pathway) was unknown.

To discern which pathway mediates FGF activity during skin patterning, the researchers set up a cultured embryonic chicken skin model and targeted a variety of potential downstream signaling pathways with specific inhibitors. They got their biggest hits with the so-called mitogen-activated protein kinase, or MAPK, pathway. Manipulating the MAPK pathway produced a wide repertoire of feather patterning, from spots, to stripes, to homogenous patches, all reflecting varying degrees of inhibited feather bud segregation. Stripes, for example, increased with higher inhibitor dosage and earlier times of administration.

But which skin layer was the major target of FGF/MAPK activity, the epithelium or the mesenchyme" The researchers grew skin explants in an environmental chamber that enabled them to continually observe cell movements and track individual cells using fluorescent markers. The results were recorded in real time by time-lapse video microscopy. The resulting chicken feather movie resolved the question: the FGF/MAPK pathway acted through the mesenchyme.

Analyses of fluorescent-labeled cells confirmed an increase in mesenchymal cell motility following MAPK pathway inhibition. In the controls, rudimentary feather bud epithelia emerge by cell rearrangements and coordinated cell shape elongation. In inhibitor-treated explant epithelia, cells remain cobblestone shaped and randomly arranged.

While the chicken feather movie poses no threat to Hollywood, the researchers say that watching the formative process of stripes versus dots play out was fascinating. From those feathery patterns, a team of theoretical biologists was able to develop a mathematical model that simulated the process of periodic pattern formation. This kind of basic work can throw light on health problems like developmental disorders, on questions in evolutionary biology, and on new biotech possibilities including tissue engineering.
'"/>

Source:American Society for Cell Biology


Related biology news :

1. Transplantation Of Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells Reverses Parkinson Disease In Primates
2. UCSD Discovery Shows How Embryonic Stem Cells Perform Quality Control Inspections
3. Embryonic Stem Cells Treated With Growth Factor Reverse Hemophilia In Mice: UNC Researchers
4. Embryonic stem cells accrue genetic changes
5. Embryonic selection of sex avoids conceiving blind children
6. Embryonic stem cells do better on bumpy nanoscale mattress
7. University of Manchester makes made-to-measure skin and bones a reality using inkjet printers
8. Grass makes environmentally friendly biofuel
9. Shampoo detergent added to paint makes surfaces self-sterilizing
10. Biota makes major antiviral discovery
11. Green diesel: New process makes liquid transportation fuel from plants

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As such, ... to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160524/371420 ... ... ... With ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, ... scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak ... and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used ... investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of ... and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology ... among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: