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Definition of Gene, zygotic lethal

Gene, zygotic lethal: A gene that is fatal for the zygote, the cell formed by the union of a sperm and an egg. The zygote would normally develop into an embryo, as instructed by the genetic material within the unified cell. However, a zygotic lethal gene kills prenatal development at its earliest point. A zygotic lethal gene is a mutated version of a normal gene that is essential to the survival of the zygote.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7754
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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