Developmental Dynamics

Cover image for Vol. 246 Issue 1

Edited By: Parker B. Antin

Impact Factor: 2.233

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 3/21 (Anatomy & Morphology); 22/41 (Developmental Biology); 22/41 (DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY)

Online ISSN: 1097-0177

Author Guidelines

Developmental Dynamics provides an international forum for communication among biologists who study the progressive and dynamic emergence of form and function during embryonic development and the developmental basis of human disease. We seek manuscripts presenting work done at all levels of biological organization, ranging from the molecular to the organismal, using both animal and plant model systems.

Publishing in Developmental Dynamics is free to all authors. We are committed to a fast, fair and friendly review process. We offer a single pdf format for original submissions and we will consider for expedited review manuscripts that have been previously reviewed at another journal.

NIH Public Access Mandate. Developmental Dynamics is fully compliant with the NIH Public Access Mandate. For more information please visit our policy statement at our NIH Author Services Page.

Note To NIH-Funded Authors
AAA Journals Support Authors via Submission to PubMed Central. AAA journal authors whose research is funded by NIH will not have to worry about submitting their accepted manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC.) AAA’s publisher, Wiley, supports authors by posting the accepted version of articles by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance by the journal. The accepted version is the version that incorporates all amendments made during peer review, but prior to the publisher's copyediting and stylistic edits, online and print formatting, citation and other linking, deposit in abstracting and indexing services to enable high-level discovery, and the addition of bibliographic and other metadata. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. The NIH mandate applies to all articles based on research that has been wholly or partially funded by the NIH and that are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008.
Once Wiley has posted the files of the accepted manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission system, NIH authors will receive an e-mail (from that system) requesting permission/approval to upload the accepted manuscript for display on the PubMed Central System. This is a requirement of their grant/affiliation. For NIH employees only, Wiley accepts the NIH Publishing Agreement. The article will be identified as a US Government Work and will be in the public domain in the USA. In addition, Wiley will post the accepted version of articles written by NIH employees to PubMed Central, as long as the articles are supplied with the NIH Publishing Agreement attached.
HHMI authors may deposit the accepted version of manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC) for release 12 months after final publication. This information applies to manuscripts submitted to Wiley after October 31st, 2013.

Author Resources. Please visit this enhanced suite of on-line tools for Wiley Online Library journal authors, featuring Article Tracking, E-mail Publication and Customized Research Tools.

Permission Request form.

Publication Ethics Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

General Instructions for Submission

Online submission is required at If you have not already done so, please create an account by clicking on the "Create an Account" button. The online system will guide you through the submission process. If you have any questions, online help is available to you at

The manuscript preparation guidelines described below must be followed or your manuscript will be returned without review.

All text pages must be double-spaced and have one-inch margins, including the abstract, text, references, and legends. Number all pages in sequence, beginning with the title page.

All Manuscripts submitted to Developmental Dynamics must be submitted solely to this journal, may not have been published in any part or form (except as an abstract for a meeting) in another publication of any type, professional or lay, and become the property of the publisher. Prior publication includes deposition of all or part of the data in a publicly accessible preprint or poster repository. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief.


Developmental Dynamics uses the iThenticate plagiarism detection software to verify that manuscripts contain original content that is not derived from previously published information (see below for additional information). No published material may be reproduced or published elsewhere without the written permission of the publisher and the author. All statements in, or omissions from, published manuscripts are the responsibility of the authors, who will review proofs thoroughly before publication. No page charges will be levied against authors or their institutions for publication in the journal.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

Search Engine Optimization for Your Paper
Consult our SEO Tips for Authors page in order to maximize online discoverability for your published research. Included are tips for making your title and abstract SEO-friendly, choosing appropriate keywords, and promoting your research through social media.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

Wiley also offers OnlineOpen. Choosing OnlineOpen makes your article open access and freely available to all on Wiley Online Library, including those who don’t subscribe to the journal. OnlineOpen fulfills funding agency mandates that require grantees to archive the final version of their article. Wiley will also immediately deposit your OnlineOpen article in PubMed Central and PMC mirror sites.

The cost for OnlineOpen is US$3,000, which can be paid by the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution.

Copyright and open access licenses

Authors choosing OnlineOpen will retain copyright in their articles and will be offered a choice of creative commons licenses.

All Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Wellcome Trust funded authors will be directed to the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY)

All other authors (non- RCUK and Wellcome Trust funded authors) are free to choose a CC-BY, Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC) or Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.

For more information about open access license terms and conditions click here.

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

Compliant with funder mandates - Open Access policies

OnlineOpen is fully compliant with open access mandates – meeting the requirements of funding organizations where these apply, including but not limited to:
The Wellcome Trust
Austrian Science Fund
Telethon Italy
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

For more information on funder mandates and open access policies please click here.


Developmental Dynamics is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (

Authorship: Developmental Dynamics follows the definition of authorship as stated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and quoted with minor modification as follows:

  • Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
  • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Developmental Dynamics uses a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to us, you agree that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published works. All submitted manuscripts must be original and must not have been published previously either in whole or in part, except in abstract form. Manuscripts submitted to Developmental Dynamics may not be under consideration by any other journal, and cannot have been published previously in another language.

The authors signify by submission of their manuscript that research involving the use of human subjects—including research for educational studies—has been conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and Title 45, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46, Protection of Human Subjects, Revised November 13, 2001, unless regulated by more restrictive state or local laws. Research involving vertebrate animals must adhere to AAA's Guiding Principles in the Care and Use of Animals. For investigations involving human subjects or vertebrate animals, a statement of protocol approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or its equivalent, respectively, must be included in the Methods section of the paper. Editors and Associate Editors are expected to refuse papers in which evidence of adherence to these principles is not stated explicitly.

Review and Publication Policies

The Editor-in-chief and editorial staff are focused on rapid review and publication. Initial reviewing of submitted manuscripts will be completed as quickly as possible while maintaining the quality and integrity of the review process. All manuscripts should be submitted with a cover letter that communicates the findings and their importance to the scientific community.

We are pleased to provide rapid consideration of manuscripts that have been submitted to another journal, using the referee’s critiques from the previous submission as a basis for expedited evaluation. Please include the reviews along with a cover letter at the time of submission. Interested authors should contact the Editor-in-chief (Parker Antin,, prior to manuscript submission.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Wiley-Blackwell requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. These must be disclosed when directly relevant or indirectly related to the work that the authors describe in their manuscript. Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company. The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in this journal. If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, this must be stated at the time of submission. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief, in the manuscript (under the Acknowledgments section), and in the online submission system all pertinent commercial and other relationships.

Description of Submission Types

Manuscripts can be submitted in one of the following types:

Research Articles are full-length articles that investigate fundamental mechanisms regulating development, regeneration, and the manifestation of disease. Research Articles should advance the field of development through mechanistic discoveries of biological processes. Manuscripts reporting purely descriptive science must be justified as being of unusual interest to the research community to be considered for publication as a Research Article. The manuscript should be organized as follows: Title page (including names, department and institutional affiliations of all authors, all contact information of the corresponding author; running title; key words; bullet points and Grant Sponsor and Number); Abstract (200 words clearly stating the focus and main results of the paper organized in the following format under three headers: Background, Results, and Conclusions); Introduction; Results; Discussion; Experimental Procedures; Acknowledgments; References; Figure Legends; Footnotes; Tables and Figures. With online submission, some of the information listed in these sections (especially on the title page) is also entered into appropriate areas of the online site during the submission process. It is important to include this material as part of your manuscript file (called "main" file in the online site) because referees often view PDFs of your manuscript off-line.

Reviews are typically comprehensive overviews of a field that cite and discuss the literature in a balanced manner. The manuscript should be organized as follows: Title page (containing the same information as listed above for Research Articles), Body of the review including, if possible, a Short Perspectives or Future Directions section at the end, Acknowledgments, References, Figure Legends, Footnotes, Tables and Figures.

Critical Commentaries are short reviews that focus on questions that need to be answered to advance a specific area of developmental biology or our understanding of human disease. The manuscript should be organized as follows: Title Page (containing the same information as listed above for Research Articles), Body of the commentary, Acknowledgments, References, Figure Legends, Footnotes, and Tables and Figures (typically, models or summary diagrams). The Body of the commentary should address the following questions in order: What is the area of study and why is it important (generally, emphasizing the medical/evolutionary implications of basic research)? What is our state of understanding of the area (brief synopsis of what we know)? What are the major questions that remain to be addressed and what strategies might be used to address them? The latter should be the bulk of the article, as the goal is to focus on the most important/interesting outstanding issues in the area to help drive future research. The length of the article should be 5-10 printed pages (5,000 to 10,000 words).

Reviews and Critical Commentaries: Authors interested in submitting a Reviews or Critical Commentaries manuscript should send an email to the Editor-in-Chief that includes a detailed outline of the proposed review before submitting a complete manuscript. Authors submitting a Reviews or Critical Commentaries manuscript should obtain written copyright release from the publishers of all previously published figures and artwork used in the manuscript, and include them with the manuscript upon initial submission.

Disease Connections articles highlight research concerning the function of genes implicated in human disease, use of non-human animal models to investigate the etiology of human disorders, and use of a model as a tool for therapeutic drug screening. Disease Connections should be submitted in the format of a Research Article.

Patterns & Phenotypes articles highlight important studies that may be more descriptive in nature, including reports of phenotypes resulting from mutagenesis or gene misexpression, or gene and protein expression patterns. Studies presenting in- situ hybridization, microarray, transcriptional profiling, protein immunolocalization or other types of expression analyses will be considered for publication only if the information provides unusual insight and/or forms the basis for additional studies pertaining to biological relevance that are included in the manuscript. The manuscript should include the same sections as listed above for Research Articles, except that the Results and Discussion may be combined. Gene expression patterns from accepted Patterns & Phenotypes articles (as well as from other article types) will be deposited in non-profit online electronic data repositories when deemed appropriate by the Editorial Board and Publisher and when such databases are available. Repositories provide an important service to the research community and facilitate the exchange and availability of important research information.

Techniques articles highlight important technical advances in the field. The manuscript should include the same sections as listed above for Research Articles, except that Results and Discussion may be combined and Experimental Procedures must be detailed and complete. If it facilitates communication, Results and Experimental Procedures may be combined in a stepwise, recipe fashion.

Perspectives are typically short reviews of an area of interest that discuss the pros and cons of a particular viewpoint. The manuscript should contain the same sections as listed above for Reviews.

Book Looks and Shop Talk. Ideas for book reviews (Book Looks) and meeting reviews (Shop Talk) should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief (Parker B. Antin, prior to the writing and submission of manuscripts. These consist of 1-2 printed pages (950 words per printed page) and typically do not have subheadings.

Special Issue Articles. Calls for Special Issue Articles will be publicized periodically. Their format will be dictated by the article type as described above. Please contact the Editorial Office for further details.

Only manuscripts written in acceptable English will be considered. If the author does not have English-writing skills equivalent to that of a native English speaker, the manuscript should be appropriately edited prior to submission to avoid rejection based on unclear writing. Manuscripts should be as concise as possible.

Authors in Japan: Wiley-Japan can provide authors in Japan with a list of recommended services to check and improve the English of their papers before submission. Please visit for more information.

Authors in China: Authors in China can visit the Author Resources site on for additional resources, including tips for English writing skills, and short bilingual presentations on different topics of interest.

The content of submitted manuscripts must be approved by all authors before submission. All authors must also confirm that they have contributed significantly to the study, justifying their authorship, and that no one whose contributions would justify authorship has been omitted as an author. All authors must agree before submission with the authorship order and the designation of the corresponding author. Changes in authorship after submission of the original manuscript must be approved in writing by all authors and the Editorial Office before resubmission.

Requirements for Manuscript Submission

Original Submissions: Original submissions may be submitted as a single PDF file that includes all text (i.e. title page, abstract, main document references, figures legends) tables and figures. The manuscript should conform to the format described in the instructions for manuscript submission below. Or, original submissions may be submitted as individual files that are production-ready, i.e. main document, figures, supplemental material, and cover figure.

Revised Submissions: All revised manuscripts must be submitted as individual files, which conform to the instructions for manuscript submission below.

Title page. The manuscript should have an informative title that defines the major findings described within the work. The title page must include the names and affiliations of all authors, the name and address for all correspondence, telephone, telex, or fax number must be present. Include a short Running Title of not more than 40 characters, and three-to-six Keywords (not used in the title). Grant support information is required in the following format: Grant Sponsor and Grant Number.

Abstract. Abstract text should be 200 words or less, and organized under three headers: Background, Results, and Conclusions.

Text. Unless submission is a single .pdf file, submit text in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. Do not use desktop publishing software such as InDesign. Text should be formatted to at least 1.5 line spacing. All abbreviations must be defined and should conform to the Style Manual for Biological Journals, American Institute for Biological Sciences, 3900 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

References. Wiley's Journal Styles Are Now in EndNote. We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting. EndNote reference styles can be searched for here: Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

The Harvard (author, date) system of referencing is used. In the text, give the author’s name followed by the year in parentheses: Sago (2000). If there are two authors use ‘and’: Baskin and Baskin (1998); but if cited within parentheses use ‘&’: (Baskin & Baskin 1998). When reference is made to a work by three or more authors, the first name followed by et al. should be used: Powles et al. (1998). If several papers by the same author(s) and from the same year are cited, a, b, c etc. should be used after the year of publication to differentiate between papers. In the list, references should be listed in alphabetical order. Cite the names of all authors. Do not cite the first three and use et al., even when there are seven or more authors. Personal communications, unpublished data and publications from informal meetings are not to be listed in the reference list but should be listed in the text (e.g. A. Smith, unpubl. data, 2000). Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references.

References should be listed in the following form.


Nusslein-Volhard C, Wieschaus E. 1980. Mutations affecting segment number and polarity in Drosophila. Nature 287: 795–801.

Martienssen R. 1996. Epigenetic phenom- ena: paramutation and gene silencing in plants. Curr Biol 6:810–813.


Gilbert SF, Epel D. 2009. Ecological developmental biology. Integrating epigenetics, medicine and evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc. 480 p.

Wylie, C. C., Scott, D. & Donnovan, P. J. 1986. Primordial germ cell migration. In Developmental Biology, Vol. 2 (Ed. L. W. Browder), pp. 433–448. Plenum Press, New York.

Figures, Legends and Tables. Unless submission is a single .pdf file, figures must be submitted as individual .tif or .eps files. Do not submit jpgs, Powerpoint files, or pdf image files. Please select LZW Compression (an option in the 'save' process of programs such as Photoshop.) Figures should be submitted as electronic images to fit either one-column, (85mm or 3-5/16 inches) or two-column (175mm or 6-7/8 inches) width. The height of a figure cannot exceed 227mm, or 9 inches. Journal quality reproduction requires grey scale and color files at resolutions of 300 dpi or greater. Bitmapped line art requires resolutions of 600–1200 dpi. All resolutions refer to the output size of the file; if you anticipate that your images will be enlarged, resolutions should be increased accordingly.

Helvetica typeface is preferred for lettering of figures. All letters, numbers, and symbols must be at least 2 mm high. Courier typeface should be used for sequence figures. Number the figures in one consecutive series with Arabic numerals, and key them into the text. Submit a brief descriptive legend with each figure; do not repeat results in figure legends. Legends for each figure should not exceed 200 words. Abbreviations used in figures and legends must match exactly those used in the text.

Submission of potential cover figures is highly encouraged. Upon submission, these can be uploaded as "Cover Figure" in the File Designation menu. A minimum resolution of 300 dpi and size of 8.5 x 11 inches is required for consideration.

Color figures are published free of charge. Authors are encouraged to group color figures onto a single page without sacrificing the clarity of the manuscript. The publisher reserves the right to regroup figures and change their size and position to use color pages efficiently.

Color figures are published online (and in PDF) in RGB (red, green, blue) color space to ensure that digital colors maintain their vibrancy and are reproduced exactly as submitted by authors. Therefore, all color figures should be submitted in RGB format.

To ensure that figures can be interpreted by color-blind people, we encourage authors to visit the following website to learn how to adjust their colors accordingly:

Tables must have a self-explanatory title, be numbered in order of appearance with Arabic numerals, and be cited at an appropriate point in the text. Tables should present comparisons of data that are too cumbersome to describe in the text; they should not merely repeat text information.

Supplemental Material: Supplemental material will no longer be published, with certain exceptions. This change has been instituted because supplemental material is often not as completely evaluated as non-supplemental material during the review process. Large data sets (e.g., xls files) will still be published as supplemental material, as will movies. For other possible exceptions, contact the Editorial Office prior to submission.

Image Manipulation: All digital images in manuscripts submitted for publication must meet guidelines established by The Journal of Cell Biology (from Rossner and Yamada [2004] J Cell Biol 166:11-15), as follows:
  • No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced.
  • The grouping of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields, or exposures, must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (i.e., using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend.
  • Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if they are applied to every pixel in the image and as long as they do not obscure, eliminate, or misrepresent any information present in the original, including the background. Non-linear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.

Graphical Abstracts*: (Optional) A Graphical Abstract is a single, concise, visual summary of the main findings of the manuscript. It is intended to help readers quickly grasp the key findings and to identify which papers are most relevant to their research interests. The Graphical Abstract consists of an illustration (TIFF or EPS formats) that visually summarizes the most significant findings and a short statement of 50 words or less (1-2 sentences). This text should summarize the key results and major conceptual advances of the manuscript. Graphical Abstracts (image and text) will appear in the online Table of Contents. Submission of a Graphical Abstract is optional though highly encouraged. The Graphical Abstract Image file should be a single image that captures the essential findings of the manuscript. The image should not be reproduced from a figure in the manuscript, but should be a new figure generated specifically for this purpose. The image should be a maximum of 400 x 400 pixels square, at 72 dpi. Use Arial or Helvetica font with a size of 10–12 points; preferred file types are EPS and TIFF. To submit this file, select Graphical Abstract Image in File Designation dropdown in ScholarOne Manuscripts. The text file should be in .DOC (or .DOCX) format; select Graphical Abstract Text in the File Designation drop down menu.

See Preparation Guide here.

Additional Information and Data Handling: The authors signify by submitting their manuscript to Developmental Dynamics that they will distribute freely to interested academic researchers biological materials (clones, cell lines, antibodies, mutant animals, etc.) used in the studies being reported, and that for personal communications, permission in writing from the communicator has been obtained to publish the information (this should be provided to the Editorial Office on submission).

RNA Expression Data: When RNASeq or microarray data are used to infer signaling or transcriptional pathways controlling a developmental process, the RNASeq or microarray data must be made available to the reviewers and editors at the time of manuscript submission and must be deposited and released in a public repository prior to publication, with the accompanying accession number cited in the paper. If RNASeq or microarray data has been used to identify candidate genes potentially involved in a developmental process (such as targets of a signaling pathway or transcription factor), and if the manuscript focuses on one or two identified target genes, authors should include a detailed description of how the data was obtained and the data should be released within six months of publication.

When submitting RNASeq or microarray data with a paper, please do not submit large raw and/or analyzed data files as supplementary data to the journal. Instead, please submit them to either the Gene Expression Omnibus or ArrayExpress repositories and supply the journal with an accession number and any necessary passwords to enable the reviewers and editors of a manuscript to access the data. Submission should be in a MIAME-compliant and widely accessible format (see for more information). RNASeq or Microarray data files of 10 Mb or less can be submitted to the journal as supplementary material.

Sequence Data: DNA or RNA sequences must be submitted to the to the appropriate database at NCBI ( or ENA ( Protein sequences determined by direct sequencing of the protein must be submitted to SWISS-PROT at the EBI at All accession numbers should be included in the manuscript. Experimental data should be submitted to the appropriate databases, with a release date corresponding to the date of publication.

Genetic nomenclature. Gene nomenclature should follow guidelines established for the appropriate species. In general, gene names should be in italic type, the protein product of a gene should be in Roman type. Genetic nomenclature should be in accordance with established conventions established by the relevant nomenclature curator if applicable.

Caenorhabditis elegans:





Xenopus: https:


Research Using Vertebrate Animals and Humans. For research involving live vertebrates, experiments must comply with all relevant institutional and national animal welfare laws, guidelines and policies and/or be conducted under guidelines approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee or equivalent body and performed in accordance with the NIH and National Research Council’s publication “Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals”. The institutional committee(s) overseeing such guidelines must be identified in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript. If the work includes data derived from human subjects, a statement that informed written consent was obtained is mandatory and should be submitted with the cover letter. Authors must list the institutional committee(s) that has approved experiments involving human subjects or human tissue in the Material and Methods section of their manuscript and include with their submission a statement to confirm that informed consent was obtained from all subjects or tissue donors.

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