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Development. 2009 Sep;136(18):3033-42. doi: 10.1242/dev.033183.

The maternal-to-zygotic transition: a play in two acts.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

All animal embryos pass through a stage during which developmental control is handed from maternally provided gene products to those synthesized from the zygotic genome. This maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) has been extensively studied in model organisms, including echinoderms, nematodes, insects, fish, amphibians and mammals. In all cases, the MZT can be subdivided into two interrelated processes: first, a subset of maternal mRNAs and proteins is eliminated; second, zygotic transcription is initiated. The timing and scale of these two events differ across species, as do the cellular and morphogenetic processes that sculpt their embryos. In this article, we discuss conserved and distinct features within the two component processes of the MZT.

PMID:
19700615
DOI:
10.1242/dev.033183
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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