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:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016   ... the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release ... soon to be launched online site for trading 100% ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense of ... to an industry that is notorious for fraud. The ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... 22, 2016 According ... Market for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, ... (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... reach USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... 17, 2016 ABI Research, the leader ... global biometrics market will reach more than $30 ... from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to ... anticipated to reach two billion shipments by 2021 ... Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... 29, 2016 According to ... Research "Separation Systems for Commercial Biotechnology Market - ... Forecast 2015 - 2023", the separation systems for ... Mn in 2014 and is projected to expand ... 2023 to reach US$ 19,227.8 Mn in 2023. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that ... 510(k) for sale in the United States. These components expand the capabilities of ... With one-level sales beginning in October of 2015, the company has seen significant sales ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... company reports the Company,s CEO  was featured in ... Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To Tread: ... Leader magazine is an essential business ... everything from emerging biotechs to Big Pharmas. Their ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 ... ... QuickSTAT has made significant investments in recruiting top industry experts, and expanding its ... Platform, which provides industry-leading tools for clients to manage their clinical trial projects. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: