Gastrulation in Frogs: Definition & Concept

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  • 0:02 What Is Gastrulation?
  • 1:15 The Three Germ Layers
  • 2:17 Gastrulation Process
  • 3:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Battista
Many animals develop very similarly. If you were to look at how many seemingly unrelated organisms develop, you would find that the first basic steps of life are very close and almost exactly the same. Here, we will look at the process of gastrulation and how it occurs in frogs.

What Is Gastrulation?

Gastrulation is when the three germ layers form around the embryo readying it for the next step, organogenesis, which is when organs are created. When the sperm and egg combine, they form a zygote. As the days and hours progress, the zygote starts multiplying its cells until eventually it is a bundle of many cells. This then rearranges itself so there's a hollow cavity inside of it. This is now called a blastula.

Gastrulation in frogs resembles closely the gastrulation of many other animals. We see the three germ layers forming just as they would in humans. In the end, we'll see the process look very similar, if not the same, as the gastrulation process of human beings. So for the most part, once you get down the concept of gastrulation, you essentially understand it for most animals out there.

One of the main differences in frogs over humans is that there is a larger amount of yolk-laden cells that are due to become the endoderm. These cells also end up forming a yolk plug. Also, in frogs, the blastocoel, hollow space inside of the blastula, is slightly off-center, but this doesn't make much of a difference in the gastrulation process.

The Three Germ Layers

At the end of gastrulation, we end up with a three-layered frog embryo. These three layers are the germ layers, which are the basis for all of the organs that will form later on.

The outermost layer of the embryo is the ectoderm. This layer will become many different linings but most superficially will become the outer layer of the skin, part of the esophagus, as well as many other organs and nerve tissue. On the inside of the gastrula is the endoderm, which forms the digestive tract of the embryo. The endoderm will become the digestive tract of the organism as well as a number of other assorted organs and linings, such as the lungs, liver, etc. The middle layer is the mesoderm. This ends up becoming many of the skeletal muscles of the organism. This also becomes the bone, blood, and sex organs.

This is just a quick overview of the three germ layers as they give rise to many different organs and organ systems. It's also after gastrulation, when the organs form, that we see some of the major differences between organisms as they develop.

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