Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is an important regulator of stress-induced cell death. ASK1 is activated by oxidative stress, TNF and endoplasmatic reticulum stress and activates the JNK- and p38-dependent intracellular death pathways. A number of studies have suggested that ASK1 may also have other roles in addition to its pro-apoptotic activity. Expression of ASK1 during early embryonic development has so far not been analyzed. We have identified and cloned chick ASK1 in a screen for FGF8 inducible genes in chick facial mesenchyme. Here we report the expression of chick ASK1 from the gastrulation stage (HH4) to day 4 of development, its expression in the developing inner organs and limbs, and we compare its expression to the expression of Ask1 during mouse development. Furthermore, we provide evidence that FGF signaling is required for ASK1 expression in chick nasal mesenchyme. In contrast, expression in the mouse nasal region was restricted to the epithelium and was independent of FGF signaling. Our analysis demonstrates that ASK1 has a spatially restricted and temporally dynamic expression pattern in both chick and mouse embryos, which includes conserved as well as species-specific expression domains.