In ovo electroporation in the chicken auditory brainstem

Ting Lu, Ariel Loren Cohen, Jason Tait Sanchez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Electroporation is a method that introduces genes of interest into biologically relevant organisms like the chicken embryo. It is long established that the chicken embryo is an effective research model for studying basic biological functions of auditory system development. More recently, the chicken embryo has become particularly valuable in studying gene expression, regulation and function associated with hearing. In ovo electroporation can be used to target auditory brainstem regions responsible for highly specialized auditory functions. These regions include the chicken nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and nucleus laminaris (NL). NM and NL neurons arise from distinct precursors of rhombomeres 5 and 6 (R5/R6). Here, we present in ovo electroporation of plasmid-encoded genes to study gene-related properties in these regions. We show a method for spatial and temporal control of gene expression that promote either gain or loss of functional phenotypes. By targeting auditory neural progenitor regions associated with R5/R6, we show plasmid transfection in NM and NL. Temporal regulation of gene expression can be achieved by adopting a tet-on vector system. This is a drug inducible procedure that expresses the genes of interest in the presence of doxycycline (Dox). The in ovo electroporation technique-together with either biochemical, pharmacological, and or in vivo functional assays-provides an innovative approach to study auditory neuron development and associated pathophysiological phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55628
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number124
StatePublished - Jun 9 2017


  • Auditory brainstem
  • Avian
  • Development
  • Developmental Biology
  • In ovo
  • Issue 124
  • Nucleus laminaris
  • Nucleus magnocellularis
  • Plasmid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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