Head fold morphogenesis constitutes the first discernible epithelial folding event in the embryonic development of the chick. It arises at Hamburger and Hamilton (HH) stage 6 (approximately 24 hours into a 21-day incubation period) and establishes the anterior extent of the embryo [1]. At this stage, the embryonic blastoderm is composed of three germ layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm), which are organized into a flat layered sheet that overlies the fibrous vitelline membrane (VM). Within this blastodermal sheet, a crescent-shaped head fold develops just anterior to the elongating notochord, spanning across the embryonic midline at the rostral end of neural plate. At the crest of this fold, the bilateral precardiac plates fuse in a cranial to caudal direction and give rise to the primitive heart tube and foregut [2, 3]. An understanding of head fold morphogenesis may thus offer insight into how embryonic tissues are arranged to make ready for proper cardiac formation.

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