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Animal Developmental Biology

Code: 60235
ECTS: 6.0
Lecturers in charge: izv. prof. dr. sc. Romana Gračan
Lecturers: izv. prof. dr. sc. Romana Gračan - Seminar

izv. prof. dr. sc. Romana Gračan - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


The lecturer is not able to offer courses in English at this time.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 15
Seminar 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. to describe basic processes and mechanisms in development of man and animals
2. to recognize microscopic structure of developmental stages on amphibian, bird and mammal examples
3. to describe differentiation of animal tissues and organs through embryonic cell interactions and inductions on model organisms
4. to analyse how the genes are activated and control the development
5. to integrate acquired knowledge and presented through chosen seminar's theme


1. Historical roots of developmental biology (classical and modern approach); the role of genes in development and the signals that control expression of those genes. Animal model systems.
2. The functional structure of animal gonads; the development of germ cells.
3. Chromosomal and environmental sex determination.
4. Gametogenesis: Oogenesis, cytoplasmic determinants, yolk proteins formation, vitellogenesis, oocyte maturation, egg envelopes.
5. Spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis. Hormonal regulation of gametogenesis in Vertebrates.
6. Fertilization: the mechanisms of fertilization in different species, the contribution of the ovum and spermatozoon.
7. Cleavage: the patterns of cleavage, the amount of yolk affects cleavage; blastulas of various animals. Extraembryonic membranes (reptiles, birds and mammals).
8. Gastrulation: forming of ectoderm, endoderm, mesoderm, archenteron and coelom (the differences between the protostomes and deuterostomes). Gastrulation of sea urchins, fruit fly, frog, chicken and mouse.
9. Early development of man. The role of placenta. Origin of twins.
10. Morphogenesis and cell differentiation during development: neurulation, organogenesis.
11. Cell to cell interactions. Examples of embryonic induction.
12. Epithelial-mesenchyme interactions. Paracrine factors.
13. The genetic core of development (dorsal ventral and anterior posterior axis formation).
14. Segmentation genes, homeotic genes.
15. The pattern of DNA methylation in mammals: epigenetic reprograming.

1. and 2. Functional structure of reproductive tract. Spermatogenesis and oogenesis (mammals).
3. and 4. Comparative overview of reproductive systems and reproductive strategies of animals: comparison among gastropods (ovotestes), crustaceans, fish and reptiles.
5. and 6. Passage of ovum and sperm through female reproductive tract: the role of oviduct and uterus.
7. and 8. Fertilisation, blastocyst development (comparative overview: echinoderms, amphibians, birds, mammals).
9. and 10. Implantation and differentiation of extraembryonic tissues (mammals).
11. and 12. Gastrulation (echinoderms, amphibians, birds, mammals). Structure of placenta; types of placenta (mammals).
13., 14. and 15. Neurulation and mesoderm segmentation (birds, mammals). Beginning of organogenesis: comparative representation of kidney development (mammals).

Seminar topics are agreed upon with students, according to their interest.
  1. Gilbert S. F.: Developmental Biology, Sinauer Associates, INC., Publishers, Sunderland, Massachusetts, 2003
  2. CD i interna skripta s predavanjima i protokolima praktikuma
  3. Wolpert L.: Principles of Development, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002
  4. Wheater's Functional Histology a text and colour atlas, ed. B. Young, J.W. Heath, Churchill Livingstone, London, 2001
  5. Junqueira L.C., Carneiro J: Osnove histologije, udžbenik i atlas, Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 2005
  6. Sadler TW: Langmanova medicinske embriologija, 10. izdanje. Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 2008
1. semester
Izborni predmeti - Regular module - Zoology
Consultations schedule:
  • izv. prof. dr. sc. Romana Gračan:

    Wednesday and Friday, 10-12 a.m.

  • izv. prof. dr. sc. Romana Gračan:

    Wednesday and Friday, 10-12 a.m.