Rudnick, Dorothea Department of Biology, Albertus Magnus College, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
McDaniel, Carl N. Department of Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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- Developmental view
- Cytoplasmic determinants and induction
- Molecular mechanisms
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An extensive field of investigation that includes the study of all changes associated with an organism as it progresses through its life cycle. Developmental biology investigates all of the life-cycle mechanisms, processes, and stages that determine how living organisms (particularly animals and plants) grow and develop (see illustration). In general, the life cycles of all multicellular organisms exhibit many similarities. In other words, as an organism progresses from one generation to the next, there is a series of common processes: for example, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryogenesis, cell differentiation, tissue differentiation, organogenesis, maturation, growth, reproduction, senescence, and death. See also: Animal growth; Animal reproduction; Cell cycle; Cell differentiation; Cell senescence; Embryogenesis; Fertilization (animal); Fertilization (plant); Gametogenesis; Plant growth; Plant reproduction
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