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:3/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Summary This report provides ... its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the full report: ... since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the partnering ... On demand company reports are prepared upon purchase ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , March 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), ... that Richard P. Moberg has resigned, effective ... and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aware citing ... serve as a member of the Board of Directors ... Aware,s co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, General Counsel has ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic Cyber Ventures , ... has led a $3.5 million investment in  Polarity , ... Cyber Ventures is DC based and is led by ... Thomas . Ron Gula , also a longtime ... participated in this series A round of funding. This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/30/2017)... ... March 30, 2017 , ... Vortex ... posters at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2017 ... Vortex’s technology to rapidly collect highly enriched populations of CTCs, undamaged by labels ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... Zansors announced today ... as issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent covers ... and health monitoring. This invention will be critical to the future of wearable ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... "Surging application of gesture control features in ... expected to drive the growth of gesture recognition and ... is expected to be worth USD 18.98 billion by ... and 2022. The touchless sensing market is expected to ... a CAGR of 17.44% between 2017 and 2022. Gesture ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline, the leading governance, risk and ... 3rd Annual Medical Device Summit 2017 venue and speaker lineup. The Summit will take ... Boston, MA. , The Omni Parker House Hotel, which is located at 60 School ...
Breaking Biology Technology: