Xine Volume 6  - number 4 - June, 2006 

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome to Xine, the source for Xenopus news and information. Here's what's happening...

11th International Xenopus Meeting

Dear Colleagues,
The web site for registration of the 11th International Xenopus Conference is now open at the following URL:

We hope many of you will attend this Xenopus meeting to be held in Japan for the first time.

We will offer travel awards for students (Ph.D students and perhaps undergraduates) as follows:
    Amount: 100,000 yen per student
    Number: about 20 students

Limitations: one student from each lab in non-Asian countries (America, Europe, etc.; see other travel awards for students from         Asian countries)

    Deadline for application: June 30, 2006

Supervisors email to Makoto Asashima ( with the following information:

Student Name:
Poster title:

We apologize that we will not be able to support postdocs due to financial limitations, although we previously indicated that we would. We are very sorry about this change.

There are a few changes in the list of accepted speakers:

E. Amaya, M. Asashima, J. Baker, B. Blumberg, A. Brandli, K. Cho, I. Dawid, T. Durston, R. Elinson, A. Fainsod, R. Grainger, H. Grunz, J. Gurdon, J.-K. Han, R. Harland, X. He, J. Heasman, M. Jamrich, E. Jones, M. Jones, R. Keller, D. Kessler, D. Kimelman, M. King, C. Kintner, T. Kishimoto, S. Klein, W. Knoechel, P. Krieg, K. Kroll, C. LaBonne, J. Larrain, J. Maller, R. Mayor, C. Niehrs, N. Papalopulu, R. Patient, S. Piccolo, T. Pieler, P. Richardson, J.-P. Saint-Jeannet, Y. Sasai , H. Sive, J. Smith, S. Sokol, H. Steinbeisser, M. Taira, G. Thomsen, N. Ueno, P. Vize, J. Wallingford, D. Wedlich, M. Whitman, H. Woodland, C. Wright, C. Wylie, L. Zimmerman, A. Zorn -- 58 people

We are looking forward to seeing all of you at the meeting.

Organizing Committee
Makoto Asashima
Naoto Ueno
Masanori Taira

contributed by Nicolas Pollet

Dear Colleagues,

I published on-line a tutorial (Using these wonderful Xenopus genomic resources) that might be of use amongst your laboratories. Feel free to comment on it and to ask more tutorials like this one.

Here is the link :

from Amy Sater

Hi all,

Our 1050-marker genetic map for X. tropicalis is now available at We encountered some delays in setting up links between the map and the marker database, but the links are finally working.

Please let me know if you have questions. I am still working on the output file, which includes the scaffolds and coordinates for each mapped marker. We will start the next round of genotyping within the next couple of weeks.



from Pawel Michalak - request for lettters of support

Dear Xenopus Colleagues:

We are preparing an NSF grant proposal that a Xenopus Species Center based on our multispecies colony be supported. Currently, our colony includes 13 various taxa ( and originates mostly
from Prof. R. Tinsley's collection and the Xenopus stock center at Geneva (courtesy of R. Tinsley, D. Rungger, and J. Robert). The Xenopus Species Center will be an invaluable resource for comparative genomics, taxonomy, as well as multispecies work in developmental biology and immunology. We will appreciate any support that the Xenopus community may provide.

Could you please send me ( an email indicating:
(1) if you support the request to get the Xenopus Species Center funded;
(2) if you can make use of the stocks from the Center;
(3) your relevant research projects (a brief summary);
(4) your name and institutional address.

Many thanks for your response. Please forward it to all who might be
interested, and my apologies to those who receive a duplicate of this


Pawel Michalak

Department of Biology
University of Texas at Arlington
Box 19498
Arlington, TX 76019-0498

from Jeremy Green

Here is a tiny technical tip and a request for a technical information on tungsten wire:

A nice and inexpensive way of maintaining particularly delicate embryos, eggs and oocytes is in holes cast in agarose using pimpled rubber made for table tennis (ping pong) bats. I have used pieces of PipsAce Drivable Pippsout [sic] Rubber P.03 Fabric Back made by JUIC obtained from a table tennis supplier, but any middle size pimpled rubber with fabric (not foam) backing would be suitable. It is best used glued to stiff plastic (e.g. squares of pipette tip box lid) and laid gently on top of the molten agarose, flicking out any bubbles that lodge on the rubber. For particularly delicate or precious oocytes, this is a nice way of making sure that any lyses individuals do not foul the whole dish. When used for oocytes, the agarose has to be made with the correct oocyte medium.

Technical question: Does anyone know of a good source of small amounts of tungsten wire suitable for making tungsten needles? I previously got some wire that (presumably because of the way it was drawn) had a tendency to split lengthwise during electrosharpening.

Jeremy B.A. Green Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer
Kings College London
Department of Craniofacial Development
Guys Tower, Floor 28
London SE1 9RT
Tel. +44 20 7188 1794

Call for content

Xine could be used to disseminate information and protocols of general utility to the research community. In order for this to occur, please send any such contributions to the editor who will include them in a future (or special) issue of Xine.

If you wish to read Xine in html format and/or see back issues, they are available at the following places

Links to useful sources of information for Xenopus (in no particular order)

general interest and utility Trans NIH Xenopus initiative - Harland lab X. tropicalis site - Grainger lab X. tropicalis site - Amy Sater's X. tropicalis genetic map site - Information on the X. tropicalis listserver - Peter Vize's Xenopus über database - Zimmerman Lab X. tropicalis website, database of mutants

genomic resources - XDB at NIBB - Naoto Ueno's X. laevis EST database - Xenopus gene collection - full length collection at the Gurdon Institute - JGI X. tropicalis genome site with browser and other info AXELDB - Christof Niehrs' Xenopus database

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Until next time.