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Mol Reprod Dev. 1990 Jul;26(3):261-97.

Functions of maternal mRNA in early development.

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  • 1Ernst-Boehringer-Institut, Vienna, Austria.


In this review, the types of mRNAs found in oocytes and eggs of several animal species, particularly Drosophila, marine invertebrates, frogs, and mice, are described. The roles that proteins derived from these mRNAs play in early development are discussed, and connections between maternally inherited information and embryonic pattern are sought. Comparisons between genetically identified maternally expressed genes in Drosophila and maternal mRNAs biochemically characterized in other species are made when possible. Regulation of the meiotic and early embryonic cell cycles is reviewed, and translational control of maternal mRNA following maturation and/or fertilization is discussed with regard to specific mRNAs.

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