Despite previous intensive investigations on epiblast cell migration in avian embryos during primitive streak development before stage (st.) 4, this migration at later stages of brain development has remained uninvestigated. By live imaging of epiblast cells sparsely labeled with green fluorescence protein, we investigated anterior epiblast cell migration to form individual brain portions. Anterior epiblast cells from a broad area migrated collectively towards the head axis during st. 5-7 at a rate of 70-110 µm/h, changing directions from diagonal to parallel and forming the brain portions and abutting head ectoderm. This analysis revised the previously published head portion precursor map in anterior epiblasts at st. 4/5. Grafting outside the brain precursor region of mCherry-expressing nodes producing anterior mesendoderm (AME) or isolated AME tissues elicited new cell migration towards ectopic AME tissues. These locally convergent cells developed into secondary brains with portions that depended on the ectopic AME position in the anterior epiblast. Thus, anterior epiblast cells are bipotent for brain/head ectoderm development with given brain portion specificities. A brain portion potential map is proposed, also accounting for previous observations.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes