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The formation of an embryo from a fertilized ovum, or zygote. Development begins when the zygote, originating from the fusion of male and female gametes, enters a period of cellular proliferation, or cleavage. Cells of the embryo subsequently give rise to the tissues and organs of the body in a temporal and spatial pattern that creates a functional, multicellular organism.

Following cleavage, the cells of the animal embryo rearrange into three germ layers: an outer ectoderm, a middle mesoderm, and an inner endoderm. Cells, responding to intrinsic and extrinsic factors, eventually segregate from the germ layers and organize into the rudiments of the tissues and organs of the body. These rudiments alter the size and the shape of the embryo, endowing the body with its axial symmetry. Cellular growth and differentiation are the principal processes that transform the rudiments into functional tissues and organs. Once the organs and organ systems are formed, further development consists primarily of growth. See Germ layers

Major features of embryogenesis in flowering plants include the formation of root and shoot apical meristems; differentiation of primary vascular tissue; the transition from a heterotrophic zygote to an embryo capable of independent growth and development; and preparations for desiccation, dormancy, and germination. See Apical meristem, Cell differentiation, Developmental biology, Embryology, Embryonic differentiation, Embryonic induction

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The formation and development of an embryo from an egg.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Embryogenic callus proliferation and regeneration conditions for genetic transformation of diverse sugarcane cultivars.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM): embryogenic calli and somatic embryos were fixed in 2.5 % glutaraldehyde and 2.0 % paraformaldehyde in 0.1 M sodium phosphate buffer pH 7.4 for 24 h at 4[degrees] C.
Micropropagation of embryogenic callus of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis jacq.) using temporary immersion system.
After subculturing once on the maintenance medium for 15 days, the embryogenic calli were transferred to the regeneration medium to initiate differentiation and harvested after 14 days.
Although embryogenic cultures are generally initiated from embryonic, juvenile or mature explants (Guerra et al., 1999), and grown in semi-solid medium containing auxins combined or not with cytokinins (Steinmacher et al., 2007; Das, 2011), the answer may not be isolated (Hendrawati et al., 2012), but rather the physiological stimulus that the explant can manifest by such manipulations to the one that precedes the incubation.
Embryogenic calli were transferred in Petri dishes containing regeneration media (MS modified).
indica callus cultures such as the embryogenic, organogenic, rhizogenic and non-embryogenic callus lines were obtained successfully, especially in cotyledons.
Figure 1 shows the sequence of the embryogenic states of Striostrea prismatica, ending in the trochophore and early D larval states.
Evaluation of the anticancer effects of Aloe vera and aloe emodin on B16F10 murine melanoma and NIH3T3 mouse embryogenic fibroblast cells.
In Eleuterococcus senticosus, DNA methylation levels of callus obtained from leaf explants were overall lower in the embryogenic than in the non-embryogenic callus (Chakrabarty, Yu, & Paek, 2003).
Cell suspension cultures were initiated from six month old ovule-derived embryogenic calli of two Citrus species named Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle cultivar Sweet lime and Citrus reticulata Blanco cultivar Kinnow.