Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Genetic and Epigenetic Control of Vertebrate Embryonic Development

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

In this overview, I provide a brief history of preformation (unfolding) and epigenesis (gradual progression) from ARISTOTLE, through HARVEY and WOLFF to the present day. While basic information (DNA) and structure (ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum) is preformed in the egg, it is the epigenetic activation of fertilization that releases what is otherwise unrealisable potential. Nowadays, epigenesis is the implementation and activation of the genetic instructions found within the zygote; genetics proposes, epigenitics disposes. Epigenetic control of vertebrate development is discussed in the context of hierarchy and increasing complexity. The initial decision in vertebrate development, that between soma or germ line, is used to illustrate how epigenetic and preformed informations interact in decision-making. Differentiation within the soma is then discussed as sequential, epigenetic activation and programming of successive decisions that lay-down the basic plan of the embryo. Epigenetic cascades are used to illustrate the temporal and spatial dependency of tissue and organ development on both prior and adjacent events. After gastrulation, many such cascades involve epithelial-mesenchymal interactions as first-order epigenetic events. These are discussed using the differentiation of cartilage and bone in the developing skeleton as the primary example. Second-order epigenetic control involves interaction with other developing tissues and organs. In sum, these interactions provide the epigenetic control that characterizes development of vertebrate embryos.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Life Sciences Center, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3H 4J1


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Netherlands Journal of Zoology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation