Quick Reference

(in embryology)

The series of cell divisions by which a single fertilized egg cell is transformed into a multicellular body, the blastula. Characteristically no growth occurs during cleavage, the shape of the embryo is unchanged except for the formation of a central cavity (the blastocoel), and the ratio of nuclear material (DNA) to cytoplasm increases.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »