Endoderm, one of the three principal germ layers, contributes to all organs of the alimentary tract. For simplicity, this review divides formation of endodermal organs into four fundamental steps: () formation of endoderm during gastrulation, () morphogenesis of a gut tube from a sheet of cells, () budding of organ domains from the tube, and () differentiation of organ-specific cell types within the growing buds. We discuss possible mechanisms that regulate how undifferentiated endoderm becomes specified into a myriad of cell types that populate the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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