Key-Notes: basic concepts in Developmental Biology


1. Introduction

These Key-Notes aim to provide the students with a summary of some basic concepts of developmental biology that are fundamental to approach the study of nervous system development. 

Development is a gradual process by which a complex multicellular organism arises from a single cell (the zygote). It involves 5 major overlapping processes: 

  1. growth = increase in size
  2. cell division= increase in number
  3. differentiation = diversification of cell types
  4. pattern formation = organization
  5. morphogenesis = generation of shapes and structures

For a general overview on the stages of animal development refer to the online version of  the book "Developmental biology, 6th edition - Chapter 2 - The Circle of Life: The Stages of Animal Development