Bendall's research is focused on better understanding the molecular control of skeletal development in the chicken. This includes developing improved means of experimentally manipulating gene expression in the early chicken embryo. Ultimately, we hope to identify alleles responsible for desirable traits and implement this knowledge in breeding programs that aim to improve poultry stock health and welfare.
The chicken embryo has a distinguished history in developmental biology as a model vertebrate organism for the ability of investigators to manipulate embryonic tissues and, more recently, levels of gene activity. For us, the chicken embryo holds a central position in our attempts to decipher the mechanisms that regulate gene expression, cell fate, and morphogenesis. We combine in vivo experiments like retroviral-mediated transgenesis in chicken embryos with in vitro and cellular studies that, together, define the biochemical basis for biological functions. These studies are often complemented with molecular genetic approaches in the mouse.
- Defining the function of Dlx genes in chondrocyte differentiation
- Investigating Dlx-mediated craniofacial patterning
- Identifying novel Dlx co-factors
- Structure-function analyses of Dlx-mediated transcription