|Blastulation. 1 - morula, 2 - blastula.|
The blastula is an early stage of embryonic development in animals. It is also called blastosphere. It is produced by cleavage of a fertilized ovum and consists of a spherical layer of around 128 cells surrounding a central fluid-filled cavity called the blastocoel. The blastula follows the morula and precedes the gastrula in the developmental sequence.
Formation of blastocyst
In mammals, blastulation leads to the formation of the blastocyst, which must not be confused with the blastula; even though they are similar in structure, their cells have different fates. The blastocyst consists of two primary cell lines:
The former is the source of embryonic stem cells and gives rise to all later structures of the adult organism. The latter combines with the maternal endometrium to form the placenta in eutherian mammals.
- "Whitefish Mitosis". Retrieved 2007-10-11.