Project 5

Multilevel dynamics in rabbit embryonic development from in vivo multiscale imaging – Comparative approach with zebrafish for appendages patterning

 Supervisor: Dr. N Peyriéras, co-supervisors: local: Dr Monique Frain, external: Dr P.Loza (P6)


  • Characterise the processes underlying rabbit embryonic development throughout pre-implantation and implantation stages (ex vivo) from the in vivo observation of cell behaviours and the quantification of metabolic and signalling activities along the cell lineage;
  • Further document the current hypothesis that rabbit development is closer to human than mouse development is at blastulation and gastrulation stages as well as at later stages for limb formation.

Expected Results:

  • Culture and image rabbit embryos through implantation stages (fluorescent staining; transgenic lines and/or new vital dyes);
  • Analyse cohorts of individuals in defined genetic and environmental conditions to derive probabilistic models for the evolution of specific cellular features to construct prototypic 4D models of rabbit early embryogenesis;
  • Challenge mechanical cues by manipulating the size of the inner cell population through ablations and transplantation ;
  • Develop a complete methodology for the live investigation of appendage development using the zebrafish model and the formation of pectoral fins.

Secondments: UCAM, Dr M. Zernicka-Goetz; ICFO, Dr. Loza; Manchester Met, Dr. Doursat

Links to other projects: ESR 14 : for live imaging on SPIM and ESR 11 (modeling of embryogenesis).