Interspecific grafts of neural tube and associated neural crest (NC) have been made between quail and chick embryos. Structural differences of the interphase nucleus in the two species make it possible to identify quail from chick cells in the chimaeras after Feulgen-Rossenbeck's staining and at the electron microscope level. Owing to the stability of the natural quail nuclear maker labelling, migration pattern and developmental fate of the grafted NC cells could be followed in the host embryo. In previous work it has been demonstrated that the visceral skeleton derives entirely from NC mesenchyme and the various levels of the neural axis from which visceral cartilages and bones originate have been established. In the present work, the contribution to the lower jaw and pharynx of NC mesenchymal derivatives other than bones and cartilages has been studied. It is shown that the dermis in the face and ventrolateral side of the neck has a neural origin. The wall of the large arteries deriving from the branchial arches (systemic aorta, pulmonary arteries, branchiocephalic trunks and common carotid arteries) are entirely made up of mesectodermal cells except for the endothelial epithelium which is mesodermal in origin. The presence in the wall of the common carotid arteries of fluoregenic monoamines-containing cells is demonstrated using the formol-induced-fluorescence technique. Like the secretory cells of the carotid body, the fluorescent cells of the carotid artery wall originate from the rhombencephalic NC. Connective tissue of the lower jaw, tongue and ventrolateral part of the neck originate from the neural crest. Mesectoderm participate in the formation of the glands associated with the tongue and pharynx (lingual gland, thymus, thyroid, parathyroids) giving their mesenchymal component. On the other hand, as demonstrated previously by our group, NC cells are the main cellular component of the UB since they give rise to the calcitonin producing cells. The wall of the oesophagus and trachea is of mesodermal origin, but adipose tissue around the trachea and parasympathetic enteric ganglia of the digestive tube derives from NC. NC cells participate in the formation of striated muscles of the branchial arches and differentiate there into connective and muscle cells. It appears from this study that the differentiating capabilities are similar in mesenchymal and mesectodermal cells with the exception of blood vessel endothelia which in our experiments are always of host origin in mesectoderm-derived tissues. The capacity of the NC to give rise to mesen chymal derivatives is restricted to the cephalic neural axis down to the level of the 5th somite in both chick and quail embryos.