Handling Albinos

It is advantagous to use albino embryos for experiments involving whole mount, RNA in situ hybridization, as well as for some antibody staining of tissues. However, because these embryos have low contrast, they are difficult to stage and orient. Recognition of BC and other pigment-dependent landmarks is very difficult. Albino embryos can be staged and oriented more easily if are stained a pale, "baby" blue, achieved by soaking the embryos for a few minutes in third-strength saline containing a few drops of 1.0% Nile blue. With this light background stain, the constricting BC apices will appear darker, much as they would in normal embryos. Staging and orientation during gastrulation can be done much like that of normal embryos, and at later stages, the staining will enhance the neural plate and the neural folds.

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