The stages of flank ectoderm capable of responding to ridge induction in the chick embryo

J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1984 Dec;84:19-34.


Reports on the stages when chick flank ectoderm can respond to ridge induction are contradictory. Different results have been obtained using presumptive wing or leg bud mesoderm as the inducing tissue with flank ectoderm as the responding tissue. In addition, although incomplete outgrowths have been obtained from recombinants with stage-19 flank ectoderm in a small percentage of cases, no complete outgrowths have been obtained from recombinants with ectoderm older than stage 18. We reinvestigated when chick flank ectoderm can respond to ridge induction and promote outgrowth of complete limbs. To do this, we combined flank ectoderm with in situ chick presumptive wing bud mesoderm using a pre-limb bud recombinant technique. When presumptive wing bud ectoderm was removed from the host and not replaced, wing development was suppressed. When host ectoderm was replaced with stage-15 through -18 chick flank ectoderm, limbs grew out in all cases; 86.4% of these recombinant limbs were distally complete. Stage-19 flank ectoderm formed a ridge and promoted limb outgrowth in 80.9% of recombinants; 52.9% of these were distally complete limbs. Recombinants made by grafting early stage-20 (40-somite donor) flank ectoderm to stage-15 hosts resulted in outgrowths in 60% of the cases and 33.3% of these were distally complete. Graft ectoderm from older donors did not respond to inductive mesoderm. Our results demonstrate that chick flank ectoderm from stage-15 through early stage-20 donors can respond to inductive signals from presumptive wing bud mesoderm to form an apical ridge. This ridge can promote outgrowth of distally complete wings in a substantial proportion of recombinants. This is two stages beyond when the ability to promote outgrowth of distally complete wings appeared to be lost using other methods.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Chick Embryo*
  • Ectoderm / cytology*
  • Ectoderm / transplantation
  • Embryonic Induction*
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Morphogenesis
  • Quail / embryology*
  • Wings, Animal / embryology