Developmental Biology Cinema
DB Cinema Main Page



Quail-Chick Chimeras

  Nicole Le Douarin pioneered the use of quail-chick chimeras to study the developmental fate of cells in the bird embryo. The videotape Nicole Le Douarin gave us permission to digitize is titled, "Quail-Chick Chimeras in Development of the Nervous System and Immune System" and it was made in 1987. These digital video sequences and still images come from the first part of her videotape.

Click on the "thumbnail" image or the QuickTime link to watch a sequence. You need QuickTime to watch these sequences; all sequences are silent.

Get Quicktime 
  Sequence showing newly hatched quail-chick chimeras; white feathers are chick and dark, pigmented feathers are quail.

QuickTime (477 K)

  Nicole Le Douarin discovered that Feulgen stain will distinguish chick cells from quail cells. (The Feulgen stain, stains DNA.) Feulgen stained quail cells have interphase nuclei with condensed nucleolar-associated heterochromatin that's not found in chick interphase nuclei. To the right is an image of a Feulgen stained section showing quail cells on the left and chick cells on the right. Histological section showing quail and chick cells

Surgical Construction of Quail-Chick Chimeras of the Nervous System

  Diagram of surgical construction of quail-chick chimeras of the nervous system Diagram showing a host chick's neural tube and neural crest cells being replaced with a donor quail's neural tube and neural crest cells.Donor and host embryos are the same stage (ca. 48 hr. incubation).Right diagram shows grafted quail neural tube and neural crest cells in host chick embryo. After Fig. 1 in N. Le Douarin (1980). Nature 286: 663-669.
  Sequence showing the injection of India ink beneath host chick embryo to help see the almost transparent embryo in ovo.

QuickTime (958 K)

  Sequence showing the preparation of the chick host; removing a portion of host's neural tube and neural crest.

QuickTime (1.3 MB)

  Sequence showing the removal and "cleaning off" of donor quail neural tube and neural crest.

QuickTime (1.4 MB)

  Sequence showing transplantation and grafting of donor quail neural tube and neural crest into the chick host; at the end of this sequence, you see the host chick embryo 5 hours later with its healed in graft.

QuickTime (1.5 MB)

  Feulgen stained transverse section through the host chick embryo containing the grafted quail nerual tube and neural crest. Host one day after receiving quail graft. The top of this section is dorsal; the right edge of this image shows a lateral half of the donor quail neural tube. Donor quail neural crest are adjacent to the dorsal quail neural tube. Histological section showing quail and chick cells
  Newly hatched quail-chick chimera. Donor quail feathers (at the level of the graft) are dark and host chick feathers are light. This newly hatched chimera has normal sensory and motor activity throughout its body. Histological section showing quail and chick cells
  Young quail-chick chimera with wings extended to better show pigmented quail feathers at the level of the graft. Histological section showing quail and chick cells
  When the quail-chick chimera is about two months old, the host chick rejects the quail graft; the chimera develops a neurologic syndrome that causes paralysis of the limbs. Histological section showing quail and chick cells

  We want to thank Pascal Meunier for translating the French dialogue of Nicole Le Douarin's videotape.
Large QuickTime Movies of "Quail-Chick Chimeras" for classroom use. Coming soon!
Do you want us to notify you when these large movies are available for download? Yes
DB Cinema Main Page  
  We welcome your comments and suggestions for the Developmental Biology Cinema.

  SDB Webmaster
© Society for Developmental Biology