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Keywords:

  • bone;
  • chimera;
  • cranial neural crest;
  • developmental biology;
  • skull

Abstract

Widespread and persistent marker expression is a prerequisite for many transgenic applications, including chimeric transplantation studies. Although existing transgenic tools for the clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, offer a number of promoters that drive widespread expression during embryonic stages, obtaining transgene expression through metamorphosis and into differentiated adult tissues has been difficult to achieve with this species. Here we report the application of the murine ROSA26 promoter in Xenopus. GFP is expressed in every transgenic tissue and cell type examined at post-metamorphic stages. Furthermore, transgenic ROSA26:GFP frogs develop normally, with no apparent differences in growth or morphology relative to wild-type frogs. ROSA26 transgenes may be used as a reliable marker for embryonic fate-mapping of adult structures in Xenopus laevis. Utility of this transgenic line is illustrated by its use in a chimeric grafting study that demonstrates the derivation of the adult bony jaw from embryonic cranial neural crest.