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founder cell


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A cell that is the precursor of a clone that constitutes a tissue. Generally there are multiple founder cells, which can be demonstrated by analysing chimeric embryos (e.g. females heterozygous for an enzyme isoform specified on the X chromosome), but single founder cells for the intestine and germ line are found in Caenorhabditis elegans. Muscle founder cells are uniquely specified myoblasts that fuse with neighbouring myoblasts to generate the body wall muscles in the Drosophila embryo; each founder cell specifies a single muscle.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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