Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Reprod Dev. 2019 May;86(5):479. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23142. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Everything from the egg.

Author information

Frontiers in Reproduction Course, Marine Biological Laboratories, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Laboratorio de Biotecnologías Aplicadas a la Reproducción y Mejoramiento Genético Animal, Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas (IIB-INTECH) (UNSAM-CONICET), Cátedra de Teriogenología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Department of Cell And Developmental Biology, Perelman School of Medicine, Smilow Center for Translational Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Laboratorio de Fisiología y Farmacología de la Reproducción, Centro de Estudios Farmacológicos y Botánicos (CEFyBO), CONICET - Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


In 1651, William Harvey opened a real debate when he postulated that the egg is the origin of all life. The central pillar of Harvey's theory sustains that all adults are already present in a smaller size in the egg. The frontispiece of his famous treatise attributed to Richard Gaywood shows Zeus holding an egg that releases small creatures as humans, others animals, and plants. The treatise concludes that no generation occurs without a primordial egg, representing the establishment of ex Ovo Omnia doctrine. Nowadays, evidence supports that both male and female gametes are essential for embryo development following sexual reproduction. Despite obvious differences in morphology and in scale, the oocytes carry out the same role in the development and still demonstrate the mystery of reproduction.


ex Ovo Omnia doctrine; oocyte


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center