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Our understanding of the neural crest, a key vertebrate innovation, is built upon studies of multiple model organisms. Early research on neural crest cells (NCCs) was dominated by analyses of accessible amphibian and avian embryos, with mouse genetics providing complementary insights in more recent years. The zebrafish model is a relative newcomer to the field, yet it offers unparalleled advantages for the study of NCCs. Specifically, zebrafish provide powerful genetic and transgenic tools, coupled with rapidly developing transparent embryos that are ideal for high-resolution real-time imaging of the dynamic process of neural crest development. While the broad principles of neural crest development are largely conserved across vertebrate species, there are critical differences in anatomy, morphogenesis, and genetics that must be considered before information from one model is extrapolated to another. Here, our goal is to provide the reader with a helpful primer specific to neural crest development in the zebrafish model. We focus largely on the earliest events-specification, delamination, and migration-discussing what is known about zebrafish NCC development and how it differs from NCC development in non-teleost species, as well as highlighting current gaps in knowledge. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Manuel Rocha, Noor Singh, Kamil Ahsan, Anastasia Beiriger, Victoria E Prince. Neural crest development: insights from the zebrafish. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 2020 Jan;249(1):88-111

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PMID: 31591788

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