The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 62: 49 - 55 (2018)

Vol 62, Issue 1-2-3

Special Issue: The Chick Embryo Model System

Contributions of the chick embryo and experimental embryology to understanding the cellular mechanisms of neurulation

Published: 14 March 2018

Gary C. Schoenwolf*

Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


The chick embryo has served as a workhorse for experimental embryological studies designed to elucidate mechanisms underlying neurulation, the process that forms the neural tube, the rudiment of the entire adult central nervous system. Early chick embryos developing in whole-embryo culture can be readily manipulated in cut-and-paste-type experiments, and this attribute makes this model system unparalleled for studying the morphogenesis of embryos and their organ rudiments. How the chick embryo and experimental embryology have contributed to our understanding of critical events of neurulation are summarized.


cell-shape, convergent-extension, ectoderm, microfilament, microtubule, neural plate, oriented mitosis

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