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SamTheEmbryoMan SamTheEmbryoMan
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A month ago
If all of the cells divide from the same zygote it seems like they should all be the same. What causes one part of the clump of cells in a blastula to start folding over to form the mesoderm and endoderm in the animal cleavage cycle?

Any links to further information on this topic would be appreciated.
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A month ago
They are all the same genetically speaking, that is, they all have the same genes. What differentiates the cells is what happens early on the development of the organism. Genes get turned on-and-off based on what they're determined to become. This is referred to as epigenetics. By methylating genes, they can no longer be accessible to proteins found in the tissue they're specialized in becoming.
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duddyduddy
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A month ago Edited: A month ago, duddy
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What causes one part of the clump of cells in a blastula to start folding over to form the mesoderm and endoderm in the animal cleavage cycle?

Read the abstract for this article. It should give you some insight on how genes regulate the formation of mesoderm, endoderm, and ectoderm.

@bio_man: your answer is good, but it doesn't touch on how the genes actually cause the differentiation. This article should clear it up, or at least provide some insight on how it's all connected.

PS: I've added an illustration showing their difference

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