We have developed a system for imaging whole chick embryos from embryonic day 1.5 (E1.5) to E4.5. Our system consists of a custom-made culture chamber, the top and bottom of which were heated and the inside was humidified. The system also has a fixed stage uplight fluorescent microscope, and long-working distance objective lenses were adopted. The albumen removed-yolk with the embryo in the dish was put in the chamber. It is of importance that we adopted long working distance lenses because the working distance of conventional objective lenses is too short for observation of the embryo in a humidified chamber. The objective lens we adopted has sufficient resolution to detect fluorescent protein expression at the single-cell level. Transparent glass heater set on the top of the chamber helps to reduce dew condensation; the bottom heater keeps the temperature inside the chamber, and the water bath surrounding the egg maintains humidity. This system was used to detect fluorescent protein expressing cells in embryos. We could successfully trace those cells for 17 h in vivo. In conclusion, this system is useful for time-lapse analysis of fluorescent protein expression and distribution for a longer period of time.
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