Return to site

Evo-Devo-Eco-Network (EDEN)
Research Exchange

Harvard, the Hanken lab, & frog ear transplants

In October I visited the Hanken lab at Harvard University to learn how to transplant developing tissues between frogs. The goal was to transplant the tissue that should develop into an outer ear from an 'earless' species that has no outer ear (Bombina orientalis, the fire bellied toad) to an eared species (Xenopus tropicalis, the african clawed frog) that normally has an outer ear and see if the earless frog tissue could develop an ear under the right developmental cues. 
Eventually if these experiments are done between the eared and earless toads being bred in the Hoke lab we could determine when and why the middle and outer ears stop developing in earless toad species.
Bombina egg clutch in protective jelly
Xenopus in amplexus (mating)
A bucket full of Xenopus eggs and embryos from one mating pair
Developing Bombina embryos
Neural tube of developing Bombina embryo
A Xenopus embryo on the left and a Bombina embryo
The above photo has a Xenopus embryo on the left and a Bombina embryo on the right. You can see the Xenopus are much smaller than the Bombina but have similar features. Xenopus make a ton of very small eggs while the Bombina lay fewer, larger eggs as shown in photos further above. 
A big thank you to the Hanken lab for all their help in learning this technique plus all their support and shared science enthusiasm! 
All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly