The avian embryo as a model system for skeletal myogenesis

Claire E Hirst, Christophe Marcelle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This review will focus on the use of the chicken and quail as model systems to analyze myogenesis and as such will emphasize the experimental approaches that are strongest in these systems-the amenability of the avian embryo to manipulation and in ovo observation. During somite differentiation, a wide spectrum of developmental processes occur such as cellular differentiation, migration, and fusion. Cell lineage studies combined with recent advancements in cell imaging allow these biological phenomena to be readily observed and hypotheses tested extremely rapidly-a strength that is restricted to the avian system. A clear weakness of the chicken in the past has been genetic approaches to modulate gene function. Recent advances in the electroporation of expression vectors, siRNA constructs, and use of tissue specific reporters have opened the door to increasingly sophisticated experiments that address questions of interest not only to the somite/muscle field in particular but also fundamental to biology in general. Importantly, an ever-growing body of evidence indicates that somite differentiation in birds is indistinguishable to that of mammals; therefore, these avian studies complement the complex genetic models of the mouse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVertebrate Myogenesis
Subtitle of host publicationStem Cells and Precursors
EditorsBeate Brand-Saberi
Place of PublicationBerlin Germany
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9783662446072
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation

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