Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Embryonic gene activation is a process by which the embryo begins to transcribe its newly formed genome.As the embryonic gene activation occurs during early stages the paternal genome may not have any influence at that stage.

Now, My question is why does only the maternal genome play a role in embryonic gene activation? Does paternal genome have a role in prior/post embryonic genome activation?

share|improve this question
It would be great if you provide a few reference links. – Shefali Jan 4 '14 at 4:37
I will let know...I took a developmental biology course so i have some idea – krushna Jan 4 '14 at 10:07
it is not the maternal genome that regulates embryonic development.. the cytoplasmic factors in the oocyte which include RNAs, proteins and mitochondria, are responsible for the maternal effects.. – WYSIWYG Jan 6 '14 at 4:57
@WYSIWYG In this case the would contents of the sperm be in an hyper condensed condition and play no role in embryonic genome activation? – user3800 Jan 6 '14 at 6:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The pronuclei fuse and decondensation happens and now the cell is called a zygote. There is a stage called the midblastula transition (MBT), until which only the maternal products (cytoplasmic factors such as RNAs, proteins and ribosomes) are used. After MBT the zygote starts expressing its own genes from both the paternal and maternal alleles. However, certain genomic regions are imprinted which means that one of the alleles is epigenetically silenced. It can be either paternal or maternal.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.