sensitive developmental period

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A period during development when there is an enhanced chance that genetic malfunction will bring development to a standstill. In Drosophila these sensitive periods correspond to the onset of embryonic, larval, pupal, or adult development, and it is during such periods that many new systems are differentiated and put to immediate test. Gastrulation (q.v.) is a sensitive period for amphibians.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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