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Keywords:

  • blood vessels;
  • confocal laser microscopy;
  • quail;
  • time-lapse imaging;
  • transgenic bird

Avian embryos are important model organism to study higher vertebrate development. Easy accessibility to developing avian embryos enables a variety of experimental applications to understand specific functions of molecules, tissue–tissue interactions, and cell lineages. The whole-mount ex ovo culture technique for avian embryos permits time-lapse imaging analysis for a better understanding of cell behaviors underlying tissue morphogenesis in physiological conditions. To study mechanisms of blood vessel formation and remodeling in developing embryos by using a time-lapse imaging approach, a transgenic quail model, Tg(tie1:H2B-eYFP), was generated. From a cell behavior perspective, Tg(tie1:H2B-eYFP) quail embryos are a suitable model to shed light on how the structure and pattern of blood vessels are established in higher vertebrates. In this manuscript, we give an overview on the biological and technological background of the transgenic quail model and describe procedures for the ex ovo culture of quail embryos and time-lapse imaging analysis.