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HUMAN EMBRYOLOGY

Mrs. Daniels
AP Biology
December 2005
Gametes join in fertilization
Weve already learned how gametes
are produced (gametogenesis) through
meiosis
What process produces every other cell
in the human body?
MITOSIS

Fertilization
Divided into 4 steps:
1. Contact and recognition
(Casual Introductions)
Sperm undergo capacitation (further maturation)
within the female reproductive tract
Recall that sperm were produced in the testes
and matured in the epididymus until ejaculation
Sperm reach the egg in the oviduct where
fertilization will occur
2. Sperm Entry
Only ONE sperm is allowed to enter
Fast block - electrical charge in egg
plasma membrane prevents polyspermy
Slow block - depolarization of egg
plasma membrane due to Ca++ release

3. Egg Activation
The release of calcium ions in egg
plasma membrane also triggers protein
synthesis

4. Fusion
The sperm nucleus is propelled to the
egg nucleus by microtubules
Let the Division Begin!
Cleavage follows fertilization
Cleavage is a series of rapid mitotic
divisions (without cell growth)
The two-celled zygote divides
repeatedly until a ball of 32
cells is formed

This is the morula - 32 cells

Continued divisions make the hollow blastula






These few cells are pluripotent (have the
potential to become ANY of the 220 types of
cells in the human body).
These are embryonic stem cells
Gastrulation
At the end of the cleavage stage, cells
making up the blastula move about and
surface proteins help cells recognize each
other
The gastrula is formed, which consists of 3
germ layers
Endoderm
Mesoderm
Ectoderm

Gastrulation
Extraembryonic Membranes
These membranes develop from the germ
layers, but are NOT part of the embryo (they
are lost at birth)
They lie outside of the embryo & provide
protection and nourishment
Four exist in terrestrial vertebrates:
Chorion, amnion, allantois (stores
nitrogenous waste in reptiles), & yolk sac
(not found in humans, but yolk aids in
formation of RBC
Human Development
The gestation period lasts 266 days from
fertilization to birth
Organogenesis (development of the
organs and organ systems) begins with
the nervous system

Think on this:
Do all animals have the
same gestation period?