Painted Embryo

Courtesy of Walter GehringOn our chromosomal walk to clone the Antennapedia gene, Richard Garber and Atsushi Kuroiwa also cloned the segmentation gene fushi tarazu (ftz). Ernst Hafen and Michael Levine had concurrently developed an in situ hybridization method to tissue sections. Garber joined forces with Hafen to hybridize ftz recombinant DNA to wild-type embryos in order to localize the ftz+ transcripts. A few weeks later, I was seated at my desk when Hafen and Kuroiwa burst into my office and

Walter Gehring
Jan 18, 2004
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Courtesy of Walter Gehring

On our chromosomal walk to clone the Antennapedia gene, Richard Garber and Atsushi Kuroiwa also cloned the segmentation gene fushi tarazu (ftz). Ernst Hafen and Michael Levine had concurrently developed an in situ hybridization method to tissue sections. Garber joined forces with Hafen to hybridize ftz recombinant DNA to wild-type embryos in order to localize the ftz+ transcripts. A few weeks later, I was seated at my desk when Hafen and Kuroiwa burst into my office and asked me to come to the microscope. I shall never forget that moment when I first saw the seven stripes across the blastoderm. The body plan was really "painted onto the embryo." It was one of the most rewarding moments in a scientist's life.1

- Walter Gehring, University of Basel

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