An important and ongoing focus of biomedical and agricultural avian research is to understand gene function, which for a significant fraction of genes remains unknown. A first step is to determine when and where genes are expressed during development and in the adult. Whole mount in situ hybridization gives precise spatial and temporal resolution of gene expression throughout an embryo, and a comprehensive analysis and centralized repository of in situ hybridization information would provide a valuable research tool. The GEISHA project (gallus expression in situ hybridization analysis) was initiated to explore the utility of using high-throughput in situ hybridization as a means for gene discovery and annotation in chicken embryos, and to provide a unified repository for in situ hybridization information. This report describes the design and implementation of a new GEISHA database and user interface (www.geisha.arizona.edu), and illustrates its utility for researchers in the biomedical and poultry science communities. Results obtained from a high throughput screen of microRNA expression in chicken embryos are also presented.
The Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands, the ephrins, are membrane-bound proteins that mediate bidirectional signals between adjacent cells. By modulating cytoskeleton dynamics affecting cell motility and adhesion, Ephs and ephrins orchestrate cell movements during multiple morphogenetic processes, including gastrulation, segmentation, angiogenesis, axonal pathfinding, and neural crest cell migration. The full repertoire of developmental Eph/ephrin functions remains uncertain, however, because coexpression of multiple receptor and ligand family members, and promiscuous interactions between them, can result in functional redundancy. A complete understanding of expression patterns, therefore, is a necessary prerequisite to understanding function. Here, we present a comprehensive expression overview for 10 Eph and ephrin genes during the first 48 hr of chick embryo development. First, dynamic expression domains are described for each gene between Hamburger and Hamilton stages 4 and 12; second, comparative analyses are presented of Eph/ephrin expression patterns in the primitive streak, the somites, the vasculature, and the brain. Complex spatially and temporally dynamic expression patterns are revealed that suggest novel functions for Eph and ephrin family members in both known and previously unrecognized processes. This study will provide a valuable resource for further experimental investigations of Eph and ephrin functions during early embryonic development. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
With sequencing of the chicken genome largely completed, significant effort is focusing on gene annotation, including acquiring information about the patterns of gene expression. The chicken embryo is ideally suited to provide detailed temporal and spatial expression information through in situ hybridization gene expression analysis in vivo. We have developed the Gallus expression in situ hybridization analysis (GEISHA) database and user interface (http://geisha.arizona.edu) to serve as a centralized repository of in situ hybridization photos and metadata from chicken embryos. This report describes the design and implementation the GEISHA database and Web site and illustrates its usefulness for researchers in the biomedical and poultry science communities. Results from a recent comprehensive expression analysis of microRNA expression in chicken embryos are also presented. ©2007 Poultry Science Association Inc.
FGF signalling regulates numerous aspects of early embryo development. During gastrulation in amniotes, epiblast cells undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the primitive streak to form the mesoderm and endoderm. In mice lacking FGFR1, epiblast cells in the primitive streak fail to downregulate E-cadherin and undergo EMT, and cell migration is inhibited. This study investigated how FGF signalling regulates cell movement and gene expression in the primitive streak of chicken embryos.
PMID: 6438115;PMCID: PMC2113583;Abstract:
The topographic relationship between stress fiber-like structures (SFLS) and nascent myofibrils was examined in cultured chick cardiac myocytes by immunofluorescence microscopy. Antibodies against muscle-specific light meromyosin (anti-LMM) and desmin were used to distinguish cardiac myocytes from fibroblastic cells. By various combinations of staining with rhodamine-labeled phalloidin, anti-LMM, and antibodies against chick brain myosin and smooth muscle α-actinin, we observed the following relationships between transitory SFLS and nascent and mature myofibrils: (a) a more SFLS were present im immature than mature myocytes; (b) in immature myocytes a single fluorescent fiber would stain as a SFLS distally and as a striated myofibril proximally, towards the center of the cell; (c) in regions of a myocyte not yet penetrated by the elongating myofibrils, SFLS were abundant; and (d) in regions of a myocyte with numerous mature myofibrils, SFLS had totally disappeared. Spontaneously contracting striated myofibrils with definitive Z-band regions were present long before antidesmin localized in the I-Z-band region and long before morphologically recognizable structures periodically link Z-bands to the sarcolemma. These results suggest a transient one-on-one relationship between individual SFLS and newly emerging individual nascent myofibrils. Based on these and other relevant data, a complex, multistage molecular model is presented for myofibrillar assembly and maturation. Lastly, it is of considerable theoretical interest to note that mature cardiac myocytes, like mature skeletal myotubes, lack readily detectable stress fibers.