The homeobox gene goosecoid and the origin of organizer cells in the early chick blastoderm

Juan Carlos Izpisúa-Belmonte*, Eddy M. De Robertis, Kate G. Storey, Claudio D. Stern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Scopus citations


The chick homeobox gene goosecoid (gsc) is first expressed in a barely noticeable cell population near the posterior margin (Koller's sickle) of the unincubated egg. Then it is detected in Hensen's node, traditionally considered the chick organizer. Later, gsc-expressing cells leave the node with the prechordal plate. Fate mapping indicates that these three regions are related by cell lineage, and transplantation experiments suggest that they all have inducing activity. Quall posterior margin and anterior primitive streak grafts (gsc expressing) induce gsc transcription in neighboring chick host cells. We propose that development of the chick organizer starts earlier than previously thought and that gsc marks this changing cell population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-659
Number of pages15
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 27 1993
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are indebted to Dr. Susan Mackem (National Institutes of Health) for the cDNA library used to isolate chick gsc, Dr. Fiona Watt for the notochord antibody MZ15, Dr. Herbert Steinbeisser (University of California at Los Angeles) for help with some of the whole-mount in situs, Geoffrey Carlson and Elaine Morita for help with histology, Brian Archer and Colin Beesley for help with photography, Rosalyn Kate of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory for the sequence of IZAP, Drs. Angela Nieto and Jonathan Slack for a method for clearing whole-mounts, and Drs. Marianne Bronner-Fraser and Scott Fraserfor helpful comments on the manuscript. J. C. L-B. was supported by fellowships from the European Molecular Biology Organization and Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO). This collaboration was made possible by a joint grant of the HFSPO to E. M. D. R. and C. D. S.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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