Nicole Le Douarin and Charles Ordahl's Experiments on the Developmental Lineages of Somites
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Through various studies developmental biologists have been able to determine that the muscles of the back, ribs, and limbs derive from somites. Somites are blocks of cells that contain distinct sections that diverge into specific types (axial or limb) of musculature and are an essential part of early vertebrate development. For many years the musculature of vertebrates was known to derive from the somites, but the exact developmental lineage of axial and limb muscle progenitor cells remained a mystery until Nicole Le Douarin and Charles P. Ordahl published "Two Myogenic Lineagues within the Developing Somite" in 1991. This paper describes their experiment, which used chick-quail chimeras to demonstrate the exact lineage of the limb and back musculature.