Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

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A crucial question in mammalian development is how cells of the early embryo differentiate into distinct cell types. The first decision is taken when cells undertake waves of asymmetric division that generate one daughter on the inside and one on the outside of the embryo. After this division, some cells on the inside remain pluripotent and give rise to the(More)
We describe the use of a DNA construct (named GFP.RN3) encoding green fluorescent protein as a lineage marker for Xenopus embryos. This offers the following advantages over other lineage markers so far used in Xenopus. When injected as synthetic mRNA, its protein emits intense fluorescence in living embryos. It is non-toxic, and the fluorescence does not(More)
Despite an apparent lack of determinants that specify cell fate, spatial patterning of the mouse embryo is evident early in development. The axis of the post-implantation egg cylinder can be traced back to organization of the pre-implantation blastocyst. This in turn reflects the organization of the cleavage-stage embryo and the animal-vegetal axis of the(More)
It has been generally accepted that the mammalian embryo starts its development with all cells identical, and only when inside and outside cells form do differences between cells first emerge. However, recent findings show that cells in the mouse embryo can differ in their developmental fate and potency as early as the four-cell stage. These differences(More)
Two independent studies have recently suggested similar models in which the embryonic and abembryonic parts of the mouse blastocyst become separated already by the first cleavage division. However, no lineage tracing studies carried out so far on early embryos provide the support for such a hypothesis. Thus, to re-examine the fate of blastomeres of the(More)
Generation of inside cells that develop into inner cell mass (ICM) and outside cells that develop into trophectoderm is central to the development of the early mouse embryo. Critical to this decision is the development of cell polarity and the associated asymmetric (differentiative) divisions of the 8-cell-stage blastomeres. The underlying molecular(More)
The preimplantation development of the mammalian embryo encompasses a series of critical events: the transition from oocyte to embryo, the first cell divisions, the establishment of cellular contacts, the first lineage differentiation-all the first subtle steps toward a future body plan. Here, we use microarrays to explore gene activity during(More)
One of the unanswered questions in mammalian development is how the embryonic-abembryonic axis of the blastocyst is first established. It is possible that the first cleavage division contributes to this process, because in most mouse embryos the progeny of one two-cell blastomere primarily populate the embryonic part of the blastocyst and the progeny of its(More)
Setting aside pluripotent cells that give rise to the future body is a central cell fate decision in mammalian development. It requires that some blastomeres divide asymmetrically to direct cells to the inside of the embryo. Despite its importance, it is unknown whether the decision to divide symmetrically versus asymmetrically shows any spatial or temporal(More)
The use of double-stranded (ds) RNA is a powerful way of interfering with gene expression in a range of organisms, but doubts have been raised about whether it could be successful in mammals. Here, we show that dsRNA is effective as a specific inhibitor of the function of three genes in the mouse, namely maternally expressed c-mos in the oocyte and(More)