The regionalisation of cell fate in the embryonic ectoderm was studied by analyzing the distribution of graft-derived cells in the chimaeric embryo following grafting of wheat germ agglutinin—gold-labelled cells and culturing primitive-streak-stage mouse embryos. Embryonic ectoderm in the anterior region of the egg cylinder contributes to the neuroectoderm of the prosencephalon and mesencephalon. Cells in the distal lateral region give rise to the neuroectoderm of the rhombencephalon and the spinal cord. Embryonic ectoderm at the archenteron and adjacent to the middle region of the primitive streak contributes to the neuroepithelium of the spinal cord. The proximal-lateral ectoderm and the ectodermal cells adjacent to the posterior region of the primitive streak produce the surface ectoderm, the epidermal placodes and the cranial neural crest cells. Some labelled cells grafted to the anterior midline are found in the oral ectodermal lining, whereas cells from the archenteron are found in the notochord. With respect to mesodermal tissues, ectoderm at the archenteron and the distal-lateral region of the egg cylinder gives rise to rhombencephalic somitomeres, and the embryonic ectoderm adjacent to the primitive streak contributes to the somitic mesoderm and the lateral mesoderm. Based upon results of this and other grafting studies, a map of prospective ectodermal tissues in the embryonic ectoderm of the full-streak-stage mouse embryo is constructed.

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