Collaborative Resources for
Learning Developmental Biology
Collaborative Resources for Learning Developmental Biology
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Zebrafish Craniofacial Development
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Johann Eberhart

Additional Author(s): Van Nguyen

Published on SDB CoRe: Nov 29 2012

Organisms: Model Organisms; Vertebrates
Tools & Techniques: Visualizing Genes/ Proteins; Microscopy
Morphogenesis: Cell Movements; Cell Shape Changes
Ectoderm-derived: Neural Crest
Organism: Zebrafish
Stage of Development: Embryo

Object Description

A time-lapsed confocal movie of zebrafish craniofacial development from 30 to 58 hours post-fertilization is shown with anterior to the left and dorsal up. This embryo expresses Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in the vasculature and cranial neural crest cells, which will generate most of the skull. Cranial neural crest cells populate pharyngeal arches and within these pharyngeal arches morphogenetic movements involved in skull development occur. In the movie, the eye is the structure at the bottom left of the image encircled by GFP-expressing cells. At the beginning of this movie the first pharyngeal arch is located immediately posterior to the eye. This arch moves medial to the eye as the movie progresses. The second pharyngeal arch is immediately posterior to the first. Initially in the movie they are separated dorsally by the first pharyngeal pouch, which appears as a dark gap. In zebrafish, 5 additional pharyngeal arches will be generated more posteriorly, all of which bud off from a common mass of neural crest cells. At the start of the movie 2 of these posterior arches are present; the remainder bud off throughout the movie. These posterior arches move medial to the second arch.


Swartz, M.E., Nguyen, V., McCarthy, N.Q., Eberhart, J.K. Hh signaling regulates patterning and morphogenesis of the pharyngeal arch-derived skeleton. Dev Biol., 2012, 369:65-75.

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