Despite huge advances in genetic models and imaging techniques in the field of embryogenesis, there is still much to learn on the complexity underlying embryonic development. We continue to unravel the host of molecular players involved, and their roles and coordination in this intricate process. The recent reconstruction of a digital embryo using single-cell transcriptomics and light sheet imaging, and new understandings of the timing of embryonic stem cell specialisation, will aid our understanding of this complex area of biology. In this collection of articles published in Biochemical Society Transactions, experts explore the latest advances in developmental biology, from the signalling pathways to whole tissue differentiation. Learn about the role and structural changes that occur in embryonic nucleoli and membrane attack complex/perforin-like (MACPF) proteins in pattern formation, along with post-translational modifications and the influence of chromatin on developmental transcriptional programmes.
If you are interested you can also watch the recent webinar from our Biochemistry Focus webinar series, entitled “Reprogramming of the epigenome in embryogenesis” exploring how the epigenome is altered in embryonic development in mammalian and non-mammalian species. From a non-mammalian perspective, you will hear about inheritance and developmental reprogramming of non-CpG methylation in zebrafish. You will then hear about early mammalian development, from fertilization to gastrulation with a focus on zygotic genome activation and the transfer of control from the mother (oocyte) to embryo. The webinar can be found online here.