A detailed fate map was obtained for the early chick neural plate (stages 3d/4). Numerous overlapping plug grafts were performed upon New-cultured chick embryos, using fixable carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester to label donor chick tissue. The specimens were harvested 24 hours after grafting and reached in most cases stages 9-11 (early neural tube). The label was detected immunocytochemically in wholemounts, and cross-sections were later obtained. The positions of the graft-derived cells were classified first into sets of purely neural, purely non-neural and mixed grafts. Comparisons between these sets established the neural plate boundary at stages 3d/4. Further analysis categorized graft contributions to anteroposterior and dorsoventral subdivisions of the early neural tube, including data on the floor plate and the eye field. The rostral boundary of the neural plate was contained within the earliest expression domain of the Ganf gene, and the overall shape of the neural plate was contrasted and discussed with regard to the expression patterns of the genes Plato, Sox2, Otx2 and Dlx5 (and others reported in the literature) at stages 3d/4.