Utilizing the chicken as an animal model for human craniofacial ciliopathies

Elizabeth N. Schock, Ching-Fang Chang, Ingrid A. Youngworth, Megan Davey, Mary E. Delany, Samantha A. Brugmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chicken has been a particularly useful model for the study of craniofacial development and disease for over a century due to their relatively large size, accessibility, and amenability for classical bead implantation and transplant experiments. Several naturally occurring mutant lines with craniofacial anomalies also exist and have been heavily utilized by developmental biologist for several decades. Two of the most well known lines, talpid(2) (ta(2)) and talpid(3) (ta(3)), represent the first spontaneous mutants to have the causative genes identified. Despite having distinct genetic causes, both mutants have recently been identified as ciliopathic. Excitingly, both of these mutants have been classified as models for human craniofacial ciliopathies: Oral-facial-digital syndrome (ta(2)) and Joubert syndrome (ta(3)). Herein, we review and compare these two models of craniofacial disease and highlight what they have revealed about the molecular and cellular etiology of ciliopathies. Furthermore, we outline how applying classical avian experiments and new technological advances (transgenics and genome editing) with naturally occurring avian mutants can add a tremendous amount to what we currently know about craniofacial ciliopathies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-337
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Early online date24 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016


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