The Making of a Body and a Field: Introduction to Developmental Biology

The Cycle of Life

  • An animal’s life cycle
  • A flowering plant’s life cycle

Example 1: A Frog’s Life

  • Gametogenesis and fertilization
  • Cleavage and gastrulation
  • Organogenesis
  • Metamorphosis and gametogenesis

Example 2: Even a Weed Can Have a Flower-Full Life

  • Reproductive and gametophytic phases
  • Embryogenesis and seed maturation
  • Vegetative phases: From sporophytic growth to inflorescence identity

An Overview of Early Animal Development

  • Patterns of cleavage
  • Gastrulation: “The most important time in your life”
  • The primary germ layers and early organs
  • Understanding cell behavior in the embryo

A Basic Approach to Watch Development

  • Approaching the bench: Find it, lose it, move it
  • Direct observation of living embryos
  • Dye marking
  • Genetic labeling
  • Transgenic DNA chimeras

Evolutionary Embryology

  • Understanding the tree of life to see our developmental relatedness
  • The developmental history of land plants

Personal Significance: Medical Embryology and Teratology

  • Genetic malformations and syndromes
  • Disruptions and teratogens