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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News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    A recent study combines CRISPR-based perturbation with single-cell RNA sequencing to characterize the roles of epigenome regulator proteins in controlling cell fate and identity during embryonic development.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlights |

    A new CRISPR–Cas9-based ‘molecular recorder’ can provide information on cell state and cell lineage, in mice, from fertilization through to adulthood.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • News & Views |

    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