Morula is a stage of embryonic development in animals, including the 16-cell phase, the 32-cell phase, and the 64-cell phase. The morula is produced by embryonic cleavage, the rapid cell division of the zygote with virtually no growth. The morula is a solid ball; after the 64-cell phase, it develops into a hollow ball, the blastula.
The Drosophila morula (mr) gene, coding for APC2 subunit of the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome, regulates variant cell cycles, because in addition to disrupting the archetypal cycle (G1-S-G2-M), mr mutations affect the rapid embryonic (S-M) divisions as well as the endo cycle (S-G) that produces polyploid cells.
The Drosophila morula (mr) gene is critical for the inactivation of mitotic functions throughout development in a variety of developmentally-modified cell cycles (Reed, 1997).
Morula protein is closely related to the APC2 subunit of the APC/C. APC2 contains a cullin domain, but Mr shows sequence conservation throughout the protein sequence, not solely within the cullin domain.
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