The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 685 - 688 (2001)

Vol 45, Issue 4

Redneck, a new mutant of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) likely affects the development of cranial neural crest

Published: 1 June 2001

S C Smith, N S Bashir and J B Armstrong

Gravesmith Laboratory for Embryological Enquiry, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.


A novel developmental mutant in the Mexican axolotl is described. Designated redneck (rn), the mutant gene is inherited as a simple Mendelian recessive. In homozygotes, rn causes massive haemorrhage in the posterior head, rostrocaudal compression of the craniovisceral skeleton, abnormal differentiation of vertebral cartilage, micrognathia, aglossia, microphthalmia and abnormal hepatic development. Affected larvae become evident at the onset of feeding, and eventually die of starvation. Based on the tissues affected, we propose that rn affects later developmental events in the differentiation and morphogenesis of a subset of cranial neural crest cells. Thus, rn may prove a valuable model system for examining the role of neural crest cells in the development of cranial and endodermal derivatives.

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