AskDefine | Define embryotic

Dictionary Definition

embryotic adj : in an early stage of development; "the embryo government staffed by survivors of the massacre"; "an embryonic nation, not yet self-governing" [syn: embryonic]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. embryonic

Extensive Definition

An embryo (from Greek: , plural , lit. "that which grows," from en- "in" + bryein "to swell, be full") is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination. In humans, it is called an embryo from the moment of fertilisation until the end of the 8th week, whereafter it is instead called a fetus.


The development of the embryo is called embryogenesis. In organisms that reproduce sexually, once a sperm fertilizes an egg cell, the result is a cell called the zygote that has all the DNA of two parents. The resulting embryo derives 50 percent of its genetic makeup from each parent. In plants, animals, and some protists, the zygote will begin to divide by mitosis to produce a multicellular organism. The result of this process is an embryo.

In animals

In animals, the development of the zygote into an embryo proceeds through specific recognizable stages of blastula, gastrula, and organogenesis. The blastula stage typically features a fluid-filled cavity, the blastocoel, surrounded by a sphere or sheet of cells, also called blastomeres.
  • Plants: In botany, a seed plant embryo is part of a seed, consisting of precursor tissues for the leaves, stem (see hypocotyl), and root (see radicle), as well as one or more cotyledons. Once the embryo begins to germinate — grow out from the seed — it is called a seedling. Plants that do not produce seeds, but do produce an embryo, include the bryophytes and ferns. In these plants, the embryo is a young plant that grows attached to a parental gametophyte.
  • Animals: The embryo of a placental mammal is defined as the organism between the first division of the zygote (a fertilized ovum) until it becomes a fetus. In humans, the embryo is defined as the product of conception from implantation in the uterus through the eighth week of development. An embryo is called a fetus at a more advanced stage of development and up until birth or hatching. In humans, this is from the eighth week of gestation.
embryotic in Arabic: جنين
embryotic in Catalan: Embrió
embryotic in Czech: Embryo
embryotic in Danish: Embryon
embryotic in German: Embryo
embryotic in Estonian: Embrüo
embryotic in Spanish: Embrión
embryotic in Esperanto: Embrio
embryotic in Persian: جنین
embryotic in French: Embryon
embryotic in Galician: Embrión
embryotic in Ido: Embriono
embryotic in Indonesian: Embrio
embryotic in Italian: Embrione
embryotic in Luxembourgish: Embryo
embryotic in Lithuanian: Gemalas
embryotic in Dutch: Embryo
embryotic in Japanese: 胚
embryotic in Norwegian: Embryo
embryotic in Occitan (post 1500): Embrion
embryotic in Polish: Embrion
embryotic in Portuguese: Embrião
embryotic in Russian: Эмбрион
embryotic in Simple English: Embryo
embryotic in Slovak: Embryo
embryotic in Slovenian: Zarodek
embryotic in Serbo-Croatian: Zametak
embryotic in Serbian: Ембрион
embryotic in Finnish: Alkio
embryotic in Swedish: Embryo
embryotic in Turkish: Embriyo
embryotic in Ukrainian: Ембріон
embryotic in Urdu: جنین
embryotic in Chinese: 胚胎
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