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Temporal pattern of posterior positional identity in mouse limb buds.


This study describes the temporal pattern of posterior positional identity in mouse limb bud cells. To do this wedges of tissue from the posterior edge of mouse limb buds at various stages (limb stages: Wanek et al., 1989b. J. Exp. Zool. 249, 41-49) were grafted to the anterior edge of a host chick embryo wing bud. Grafts of mouse posterior cells are able to induce the formation of supernumerary digits every time when they are taken from buds from stage 3 through stage 6. At stage 7, the frequency declines and by stage 8 the chick cells no longer respond. The results indicate a change in tissue properties at stage 7, which progresses by stage 8 to the point at which posterior positional identity is no longer detectable by this assay. These temporal changes in this aspect of limb pattern formation can be used as an additional criterion to guide the identification of genes involved in the specification of posterior positional identity.

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