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In vivo Microtomography of Xenopus Gastrulation

The study of gastrulation in Xenopus, the stage at which the embryo has formed three layers arranged around a central cavity, has been, until now, hampered by the lack of high-quality live-imaging methods useable on intact Xenopus embryos, which are opaque at early stages.

Julian Moosmann,  Ralf Hofmann, Jubin Kashef & their colleagues (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Xianghui Xiao (Argonne National Laboratory, IL), Alexey Ershov (National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University) and Maneeshi Prasad & Carole LaBonne (Northwestern University, IL) developed a non-invasive in vivo time-lapse phase-contrast X-ray microtomography technique which allows the observation of gastrulation. By analysing individual cell trajectories, collective tissue motion and the evolution of morphological features, the authors visualize known gastrulation movements and reveal the formation of a structure not reported on previously. This new '4D' technique promises great advances in the fields of genetics, molecular and developmental biology and medicine.

Click here to view article in Nature.

Text adapted from Nature Editor’s summary.

Adapted with permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Moosmann et al. (2013). X-ray phase-contrast in vivo microtomography probes new aspects of Xenopus gastrulation. Nature: 497,374–377 (16 May 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12116 , copyright (2013).

Time-lapse volumes (4D) of the processed data can be downloaded from Xenbase :



Last Updated: 2013-10-17