This chapter deals largely with the use of fluorescent dyes in the investigation of the development of the chick embryo. It covers three issues; generating fate maps, lineage (or clonal) analysis from single-cell injections, and axonal tracing techniques to uncover the neuronal organization of the early nervous system. The construction of fate maps in the early embryo is an important step in the process of understanding how an embryo is built. Fate maps tell us about the origin of particular cell groups, the morphogenetic movements that occur as the embryo takes shape, and can reveal the potential for signaling between cells whose proximity may be transient and obscured by subsequent cell rearrangements. Fate maps can be constructed by analyzing the fate of several neighboring cells labeled simultaneously (here the tracking dyes are usually applied to cell surfaces by extracellular injection) or more precisely by following the fate of individual cells (where the tracking dyes are usually injected intracellularly).
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