Sonic hedgehog specifies flight feather positional information in avian wings. Sonic hedgehog specifies flight feather positional information in avian wings. Lara Busby, Cristina Aceituno, Caitlin McQueen, Constance A Rich, Maria A Ros, Matthew Towers2020-05-05T22:00:00Z<h3>Abstract</h3><div><br></div><div>Classical tissue recombination experiments performed in the chick embryo provide evidence that signals operating during early limb development specify the position and identity of feathers. Here, we show that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signalling in the embryonic chick wing bud specifies positional information required for the formation of adult flight feathers in a defined spatial and temporal sequence that reflects their different identities. We also reveal that Shh signalling is interpreted into specific patterns of Sim1 and Zic transcription factor expression, providing evidence of a putative gene regulatory network operating in flight feather patterning. Our data suggest that flight feather specification involved the co-option of the pre-existing digit patterning mechanism and therefore uncovers an embryonic process that played a fundamental step in the evolution of avian flight.<br></div><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32376617">​Development. 2020;147(9):dev188821.</a><br></p>336