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Cell lineage analysis enables us to address pivotal questions relating to: the embryonic origin of cells and sibling cell relationships in the adult body; the contribution of progenitors activated after trauma or disease; and the comparison across species in evolutionary biology. To address such fundamental questions, several techniques for clonal labelling have been developed, each with its shortcomings. Here, we report a novel method, CLoNe that is designed to work in all vertebrate species and tissues. CLoNe uses a cocktail of labelling, targeting and transposition vectors that enables targeting of specific subpopulations of progenitor types with a combination of fluorophores resulting in multifluorescence that describes multiple clones per specimen. Furthermore, transposition into the genome ensures the longevity of cell labelling. We demonstrate the robustness of this technique in mouse and chick forebrain development, and show evidence that CLoNe will be broadly applicable to study clonal relationships in different tissues and species.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1589 - 1598


CRE recombinase, Cerebral cortex, Clonal lineage, Dorsal ventricular ridge, Electroporation, Fate mapping, Multi-fluorescence, Progenitor cells, Wulst, piggyBac transposase, Animals, Bacterial Proteins, Cell Differentiation, Cell Lineage, Cell Tracking, Cells, Cultured, Chick Embryo, Clone Cells, Embryo, Mammalian, Female, Genes, Reporter, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Lentivirus, Luminescent Proteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Stem Cells