Indeterminate cell lineage of the zebrafish embryo

Dev Biol. 1987 Nov;124(1):269-80. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(87)90478-7.


We have examined the clonal progeny descended from individual blastomeres injected with lineage-tracer dye in the zebrafish embryo. Blastomeres arising by the same cleavages in different embryos generated clones in which the types and positions of cells were highly variable. Several features of early development were correlated with this diversity in cell fate. There was no fixed relationship between the plane of the first cleavage and the eventual plane of bilateral symmetry of the embryo. By blastula stages the cleavages of identified blastomeres were variable in pattern. Moreover, cell fate was not easily related to the longitudinal and dorsoventral position of the clone in the gastrula. These results establish that single blastomeres can potentially generate a highly diverse array of cell types and that the cell lineage is indeterminate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / cytology
  • Blastomeres / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum / cytology
  • Clone Cells / cytology
  • Gastrula / cytology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Zebrafish / embryology