Once a gene has been cloned the spatial distribution of its transcripts may be determined by in situ hybridization. This involves applying a labeled antisense RNA probe, with complimentary nucleotide sequence to the mRNA, either to tissue sections or to whole fixed specimens. The cephalochordate amphioxus has small embryos (100-300 ^m in length) that are particularly will suited to whole mount in situ hybridization. The method has been successfully used to examine expression of many development expressed genes in amphioxus embryos, giving insight into the evolutionary conservation and divergence of gene expression between amphiouxus and vertebrates.

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