Endochondral ossification process of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) during embryonic and juvenile development

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The long bones of the developing skeleton arise from the process of endochondral ossification, which begins during the embryonic stages and resumes later in the growth plates located at the extremities of the long bones. This process includes commitment of cells to the chondrocytic lineage and further differentiation into hypertrophic chondrocytes, which subsequently undergo apoptosis and are replaced by osteoblasts laying down the trabecular bone. In this study we characterize, for the first time, the endochondral bone development of the turkey during embryonic and juvenile stages. Turkey tibias were collected on embryonic d 11, 14, and 18; and at 3 and 7 d posthatching, alcian blue and Von Kossa staining, alkaline phosphatase activity, and in situ expression of collagen types II and X were studied in these samples. We showed that the principles of bone development in the turkey follow the known vertebrate pattern, and that the initiation of ossification is related to the perichondrium and compact bone. These results increase the knowledge about this process in the turkey, which is an important animal in the agricultural industries.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)565-571
Number of pages7
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Research Grant no. IS-3403-03 from BARD, the United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, and by a Poultry Board of Israel grant.


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Chondrocyte
  • Collagen type II
  • Collagen type X
  • Growth plate


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