Int. J. Dev. Biol. 62: 183 - 194 (2018)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.180038sg
© UPV/EHU Press

Insights into neural crest development from studies of avian embryos

Shashank Gandhi and Marianne E. Bronner*

Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA

ABSTRACT The neural crest is a multipotent and highly migratory cell type that contributes to many of the defining features of vertebrates, including the skeleton of the head and most of the peripheral nervous system. 150 years after the discovery of the neural crest, avian embryos remain one of the most important model organisms for studying neural crest development. In this review, we describe aspects of neural crest induction, migration and axial level differences, highlighting what is known about the underlying gene regulatory mechanisms. Past and emerging technologies continue to improve the resolution with which we can examine important questions of neural crest development, with modern avian molecular embryology continuing to make important contributions.

Keywords:

neural crest, migration, genetic toolbox, multipotent, neural plate border

*Corresponding author e-mail: mbronner@caltech.edu