The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 83 - 96 (2001)

Vol 45, Issue 1

Special Issue: The Spemann-Mangold Organizer

Consequences of the Spemann-Mangold organizer concept for embryological research in Russia: personal impressions

Published: 30 November -0001

A T Mikhailov and N A Gorgolyuk

Institute of Health Sciences, University of La Coruña, Spain.


The impact of the organizer concept on Russian experimental embryology is shortly reviewed. Attempts to study embryonic induction in Russia may be grouped into embryological and biochemical approaches. This paper provides a framework for, and overvalue of, the contributions of Russian biologists to the problem of embryonic induction. Two model systems--lens and neural inductions--are of special significance to modern developmental biologists. Moreover, the study of eye lens induction actually gave rise to research on developmental mechanics in Russia. This was one of the reasons why we limited this article to these two model systems. After retrospective consideration of the results of the search for possible lens-inducing factor candidates, the discussion turns towards some of the examples of neural-inducing agents detected in embryonic tissues and the new questions raised by the progress that has been made in the analysis of the Spemann-Mangold organizer.

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