Sexing chick embryos: a rapid and simple protocol

M Clinton, L Haines, B Belloir, D McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Analysis of gene expression in the developing chick gonads requires the collection of male and female tissues from embryos between 3.5 d and 8.5 d of development. However, male and female chick embryos are indistinguishable by morphological examination before d 7.5 of development. 2. Sex identification of earlier embryos is only possible by molecular methods, which at present are laborious and time consuming. 3. We have devised a PCR-based sexing protocol which combines both sex specific and control reactions in a single tube assay. The assay is rapid and effective over a wide range of DNA concentrations and is tolerant of poor quality DNA. 4. Procedures are described for identifying the sex of individual embryos using either tissue samples or a small number of cells recovered from amniotic fluid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-8
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Amniotic Fluid
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • DNA
  • DNA Primers
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sex Determination Analysis


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