During early embryonic development, pig and chicken embryos share striking morphological similarities. In the present study, the timing and location of expression of mRNA for goosecoid (gsc), a gene classically expressed in the nodal region of developing embryos, was examined and compared in preprimitive streak and gastrulating pig and chicken embryos. The expression of gsc appeared first in the hypoblast and second in the hypoblast of pig and chicken embryos. Because gsc expression in these tissues was not symmetrical, gsc appears to be a useful marker for the onset of embryonic polarity. During gastrulation in both species, gsc expression became confined to cells in and around the node, in the epiblast and mesoderm layers. The only significant species-related difference in the distribution of gsc expression at these stages of development was the presence of gsc expression in the gut endoderm of chicken but not pig embryos. Certainly, our results suggest that the molecular mechanisms that control anterior–posterior development in different classes of vertebrates are remarkably similar. In addition, we were able to demonstrate that the pattern of gsc expression appears to provide a more sensitive and accurate means of determining the developmental stage of early porcine embryos than the more commonly used trophoblast or embryoblast size. Using gsc expression and accompanying embryo morphometric changes, we were able to develop a four-point scale that may offer a more accurate means of quantifying early embryo development in pigs.
|Journal||Reproduction Fertility and Development|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
- Anterior-posterior polarity
- Axis development
- Gallus gallus
- Sus scrofa