During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT), major changes in cell cycle regulation coincide with large-scale zygotic genome activation. In this chapter, we discuss the current understanding of how the cell cycle is remodeled over the course of the Drosophila MZT, and how the temporal precision of this event is linked to contemporaneous alterations in genome-wide chromatin structure and transcriptional activity. The cell cycle is initially lengthened during the MZT by activation of the DNA replication checkpoint but, subsequently, zygotically supplied factors are essential for establishing lasting modifications to the cell cycle.
Keywords: DNA Damage Response; Drosophila; cell cycle; chromatin; midblastula transition; transcription.
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