Mesenchyme fragments from early wing buds of normal and talpid3 mutant chick embryos were explanted for culture in plastic Petri dishes and the behaviour of individual cells as they moved out on to the plastic surface was studied by time-lapse cine photography, followed by statistical analysis. Two parameters of cell movement were recorded: (1) the distances moved over measured 100-s intervals and (2) the length of time each cell spent at rest before moving on. The average speed of movement over the whole path tracked for each cell, inclusive of time at rest, was significantly greater in normal than talpid3 cells. There was no significant difference between normal and mutant cells in the average distance mover per 100-s step, equivalent to the speed over the whole path exclusive of time at rest, but the percentage of time spent at rest was significantly less in normal than in talpid3 cells. This difference appears to be related to a difference in cell morphology, since it was observed that the mutant cells were more flattened than normals, with very extensive ruffled membranes and short spiky microvilli all round the cell periphery. The relation of these differences in cell morphology and behaviour in vitro to the production of the characteristically fan-shaped limb bud outgrowth and altered pattern of cartilage elements in the developing mutant limb bud is discussed.
- © 1975 by Company of Biologists