Whole-mount in situ hybridization was first used to detect gene expression in Drosophila embryos (1). Various methods are now used to localize mRNAs in most species used for biological studies, and the methods have proven particularly useful when applied to vertebrate species. Here we provide a protocol commonly used for localizing transcripts in Xenopus embryos. The method is applicable to whole embryos and intact tissue explants. The methods are essentially as originally described by Hemmati-Brivanlou et al. (2) and then modified by Harland (3).

Standard molecular biology techniques not described in detail here can be found in Sambrook et al. (4).

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