Editors' ChoiceDevelopment

Changing Where You Send the Bill

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science's STKE  28 Jan 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 167, pp. tw45-TW45
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.167.tw45

Migratory neural crest cells are one of the sources of developmental information that are integrated into the shaping of the head and face. Schneider and Helms (see the Perspective by Trainor) used cellular chimeras of duck and quail to produce "qucks" and "duails" in order to analyze the molecular information exchange that directs beak formation in these birds. The transplanted neural crest cells form the right types of structures in the right locations as required by the host, but the specific form of those structures is directed by the source of the neural crest cells. The transplanted cross-species neural crest cells also directed development of host cranio-facial structures with which they interact. Thus, the final shape of neural crest derivatives in the face is a triple interplay of reciprocating information streams.

R. A. Schneider, J. A. Helms, The cellular and molecular origins of beak morphology. Science 299, 565-568 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]

P. Trainor, The bills of qucks and duails. Science 299, 523-524 (2003). [Summary] [Full Text]

Related Content