Expression of the organizer specific homeobox gene goosecoid (gsc) in porcine embryos

H.A. Meijer, S.A. van de Pavert, H.W.J. Stroband, M.L. Boerjan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The homeobox gene goosecoid is one of the first genes expressed in the organizer region of vertebrates and specifies future dorsal regions along the anterior/posterior axis of the embryo. Goosecoid (gsc) expression marks the posterior end of the anterior/posterior axis and might be a good marker to visualise early events in embryonic axis formation and differentiation processes in the epiblast at the onset of gastrulation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate gsc expression in porcine embryos. For this the homeobox containing region of the porcine gsc was isolated using RT-PCR. The sequence of the PCR product appeared to be highly homologous to the sequence in the mouse, human, and chicken. We concluded that the isolated region represents part of the porcine gsc messenger. Relative levels of gsc expression were estimated in porcine embryos from day 9 to day 12 of pregnancy. Gsc was expressed in embryos of all ages and localisation on one side of the embryoblast was demonstrated with in situ hybridisation on whole- mount embryos at day 10 of pregnancy. In embryos collected at day 13 of pregnancy gsc expression was localised anterior to the primitive streak. The correlation between embryo size and level of gsc expression was low. Levels and pattern of expression varied within and between litters collected at similar days of pregnancy. It is concluded that gsc expression can be used as an early marker of differentiation and to describe embryo diversity in the pig.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalMolecular reproduction and development
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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