This award provides renewed support for operation of the Indiana University Axolotl Colony, a self-sustaining, breeding colony of Ambystoma mexicanum, a neotenic salamander. Each year, the Colony supplies over 50,000 embryos, larvae, and adults to biology researchers and educators in the United States and overseas. The Colony's staff also provide technical expertise on request, and the Colony serves as a communications venue for collaboration and shared findings. The axolotl continues to represent a valuable, non-mammalian vertebrate model system. Among its many special characteristics is its ability to perfectly regenerate numerous parts of the body, including fore and hindlimbs, tail, heart, brain, spinal cord and jaw, throughout embryonic, larval and adult life. In the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of molecular reagents, such as antibodies for immunocytochemistry, cloned genes for in situ hybridization and DNA libraries for studies in gene expression and regulation. This accumulation of molecular tools has helped to maintain axolotls as a modern, model system for study of vertebrate development.