Our series on emerging model organisms continues this month, bringing you a set of articles on two systems that may be new to you, and one that’s a long-time classic.

Marianne Bronner-Fraser and colleagues have written up a guide to using the Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus in the laboratory. The unique evolutionary position of the lamprey makes it a fascinating animal for comparative studies, and there are also lamprey-specific systems that are being investigated, like its variable lymphocyte receptor-mediated immune system. Protocols for culturing embryos, microinjection of RNA and morpholinos, DiI cell labeling, whole-mount in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry are available.

Nipam Patel’s group at Berkeley brings us a look at the amphipod crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. This crustacean is extremely amenable to laboratory studies, producing large amounts of embryos year round. The establishment of the segemented body plan is a particular area of interest for studies of P. hawaiensis. Protocols are provided for fixing and dissecting embryos, injection with fluorescent dyes, antibody staining and in situ hybridization.

Rusty Lansford and colleagues have written up their methods for using the classic developmental biology system, the Japanese Quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica. Their transgenic system is a big breakthrough, and deserves its own blog article, which I’ll post next week.