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The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124095236, 9780124166127

The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition, Volume 113

1st Edition

Serial Volume Editor: Howard Lipshitz
eBook ISBN: 9780124166127
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124095236
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 7th September 2015
Page Count: 430
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Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter One: The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in C. elegans
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Components of the MZT
    • 3 Major Regulators/Events That Coordinate the MZT
    • 4 Concluding Remarks
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Two: Regulation and Function of Maternal Gene Products During the Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in Drosophila
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Overview of Oogenesis and Early Embryogenesis
    • 3 Maternal Factors During Oocyte Maturation
    • 4 Maternal Factors During Egg Activation and Early Embryogenesis
    • 5 The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in Primordial Germ Cells
    • 6 Conclusions and Future Prospects
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Three: Transcriptional Activation of the Zygotic Genome in Drosophila
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Activating Transcription of the Zygotic Genome
    • 3 Mechanisms Regulating Transcriptional Activation During the MZT
    • 4 Chromatin Dynamics During the MZT
    • 5 The Role of cis-Regulatory Elements in Regulating Zygotic Transcription
    • 6 Concluding Remarks
  • Chapter Four: Coordinating Cell Cycle Remodeling with Transcriptional Activation at the Drosophila MBT
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 What Happens at the MBT?
    • 3 Mechanisms for Timing Zygotic Genome Activation
    • 4 Concluding Remarks
    • Acknowledgment
  • Chapter Five: Germ Line Versus Soma in the Transition from Egg to Embryo
    • Abstract
    • 1 The Big Picture
    • 2 Are METs Universal?
    • 3 General Activation of the Embryonic Genome
    • 4 Activation of Regionally Specific Gene Regulatory Networks
    • 5 Loss of Cleavage Synchrony: A Cause or Effect of Embryonic Control?
    • 6 Degradation of the Maternally Supplied Transcriptome
    • 7 Separating the Soma from the Germ Line: A Critical Fork in the Road
    • 8 Different Roads Lead to a Conserved Germ Line Program
    • 9 PGC Specification by Induction
    • 10 PGC Specification by Preloading
    • 11 Evolutionary Transition of PGC Segregation in the Echinoderms
    • 12 Putting Your Germ Cells in the Freezer: Possible Advantages for Preloaded Specification
    • 13 Are METs Different Between the Germ Line and Soma? Transcriptional Repression in PGCs
    • 14 Differential Stability of mRNA in the Germ Line and Soma
    • 15 METs Are Delayed in PGCs
    • 16 A Continuum of Maternal and Embryonic Contributions to Development
  • Chapter Six: The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition During Vertebrate Development: A Model for Reprogramming
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Mechanisms of Maternal mRNA Clearance During the MZT
    • 3 Consequences of Failure of Maternal mRNA Clearance
    • 4 MZT Connection to Other Transitions and Reprogramming
    • 5 Concluding Remarks
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Seven: Building the Future: Post-transcriptional Regulation of Cell Fate Decisions Prior to the Xenopus Midblastula Transition
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Regulation of Maternal mRNAs in the Xenopus Embryo
    • 3 miRNA Regulation of mRNAs During Early Xenopus Development
    • 4 Translational Control of mRNAs Encoding Cell Fate Determinants
    • 5 Regulation of Maternal Proteins in the Xenopus Embryo
    • 6 Regulated Proteolysis and the Control of Maternal Signaling Pathways
    • 7 The Xenopus Maternal Proteome
    • 8 The Maternal Phosphoproteome
    • 9 Metabolism and Metabolomics
    • 10 Conclusions
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Eight: The Xenopus Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition from the Perspective of the Germline
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Germ-Plasm RNAs and Cytoskeletal Dynamics: Stage VI Oocyte
    • 3 Germ Plasm and Cytoskeletal Dynamics: Oocyte Maturation/Fertilization
    • 4 Maternal Determinants for Two Lineages Inherited by the Same Blastomeres: A Dilemma
    • 5 Mechanisms for Protecting the Germline During the MZT
    • 6 PGCs are Transcriptionally Repressed at the MBT
    • 7 How Does the Germline Escape the MBT?
    • 8 RNA Degradation During the MZT
    • 9 Stability of Germline RNAs and Proteins
    • 10 The PGC Late-Gastrula Transition
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Nine: Sculpting the Transcriptome During the Oocyte-to-Embryo Transition in Mouse
    • Abstract
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Overview of Significant Events During OET
    • 3 The OET: The Mother of All Transcriptome Remodeling
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Ten: The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in Flowering Plants: Evidence, Mechanisms, and Plasticity
    • Abstract
    • 1 Seed Development: A Largely Maternal Affair
    • 2 Emancipation of the Plant Embryo
    • 3 Progressive Zygotic Gene Activation
    • 4 Mechanisms of Zygotic Genome Activation
    • 5 The Dynamics of the Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition Vary Depending on Plant Species and Genetic Background
    • 6 Biological Functions of the Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in Plants
    • 7 Unresolved Questions and Outlook
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter Eleven: The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition in Higher Plants: Available Approaches, Critical Limitations, and Technical Requirements
    • Abstract
    • 1 Zygote Development and Embryogenesis in Angiosperms
    • 2 The MZT During Early Angiosperm Embryogenesis
    • 3 Studies on the MZT During Embryogenesis and Technical Limitations
    • 4 Current Techniques Used to Study the MZT in Higher Plants
    • 5 Conclusions and Perspectives
    • Acknowledgments
  • Index


The Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition provides users with an expert accounting of the mechanisms and functions of this transition in a range of animal and plant models.

The book provides critical information on how maternal gene products program the initial development of all animal and plant embryos, then undergoing a series of events, termed the maternal-to-zygotic transition, during which maternal products are cleared and zygotic genome activation takes over the developmental control.

Key Features

  • Maternal gene products program the initial development of all animal and plant embryos
  • These then undergo a series of events, termed the maternal-to-zygotic transition, during which maternal products are cleared and zygotic genome activation takes over developmental control
  • In this book, experts provide their insights into the mechanisms and functions of this transition in a range of animal and plant models.


Developmental biologists, molecular biologists, cell biologists, geneticists studying plants and animals, plus graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows, research scientists and professors.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2015
7th September 2015
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:


Praise for the Series:
"Outstanding both in variety and in the quality of its contributions." --Nature

Ratings and Reviews

About the Serial Volume Editor

Howard Lipshitz

Howard Lipshitz

Howard Lipshitz is Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist in the Program in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology at the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto. He received B.Sc. (1976) and B.Sc.(Hons) cum laude (1977) degrees from the University of Natal, South Africa; M.Phil. (1980) and Ph.D. (1983) in Biology from Yale University; and then carried out postdoctoral work in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University (1983-1986), where he elucidated the first long non-coding RNAs produced by the bithorax complex in Drosophila. He was Assistant (1986-1992) and then Associate (1992-1995) Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California before moving to Toronto in 1995 as Professor and Senior Scientist. He served as Associate Director of the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute (1997-2001) and as Head of what is now its Program in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology (2001-2005) before becoming Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University. Awards and honours include the Damant Science Prize from the University of Natal (1975), a South African National Scholarship (1978-1980), an Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (1983-1986), appointment as a Searle Foundation Scholar (1988-1991), as Canada Research Chair in Developmental Biology (2001-2008), election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990), receipt of the Elliot Osserman Award of the Israel Cancer Research Fund (New York) for his distinguished service in support of cancer research (2008), the Circle of Valour Award for Academics, Science and Technology, Durban, South Africa (2013), and appointment as an Honorary Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Hong Kong (2012-2014). Dr. Lipshitz is an internationally recognized leader in the field of posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. He has served as chair or a member of the organizing committee of multiple international conferences and workshops; has edited/authored three books; has served on the board of directors of several scientific societies; serves on the advisory board of several funding agencies; serves on the editorial boards of several journals; and has served on peer review committees in the USA and Canada. His current research on post-transcriptional regulation during the maternal-to-zygotic transition in Drosophila embryos is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Canada