Imaging Cell Migration in Xenopus | @VirajDoddihal

Imaging Cell Migration in Xenopus | @VirajDoddihal

During their time in the MBL’s 2021 Embryology course, graduate students Viraj Doddihal, the Stowers Institute, and Valarie Komatsu, University of Southern California, spent a lot of time looking under the microscope.

That time paid off, and, along with some other stunning images, the pair captured this video of cell migration in a small tissue sample of a Xenopus laevis embryo.

The cellular skeletal protein actin (grey) marks the cell edges and the nucleus is is in magenta.

“This tissue behaves similar to how it would in an embryo,” said Doddihal.

In the video, the cells migrate towards the top right, and during a process called “convergent extension,” the cells intercalate to form a long, thin structure.

“This process plays a major role in turning a spherical frog embryo into a lengthened tadpole,” said Doddihal.

This movie was captured on Zeiss 780 during the 2021 Embryology course.

The video was recently published online with Komatsu and Doddihal both listed as first authors. Embryology faculty member Chenbei Chang, University of Alabama at Birmingham, also contributed to the paper.



Komatsu, V., Doddihal, V., Chang, C. (2021). Imaging of dynamic actin remodeling reveals distinct behaviors of head and trunk mesoderm in gastrulating Xenopus laevis. microPublication Biology. DOI: 10.17912/micropub.biology.000483.