Gastrulation is the process during which the early sphere-like embryo of most animals is dramatically re-organised by the inward migration of cells on the outside of the embryo. During gastrulation, the three primary germ cell layers that will give rise to specific tissues and organs are formed.

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    Unlike in animals in which gastrulation marks the onset of zygotic transcription and a transition from random to site-specific localization of replication origins, transcription and origin specification in Caenorhabditis elegans are in place before gastrulation. Nonetheless, origin-site redistribution takes place after gastrulation, and is coordinated with changes in the sites of active transcription.

    • Takayo Sasaki
    •  & David M Gilbert