canalization, geneticalthe progression of a cell down a developmental pathway (see EPIGENETIC LANDSCAPE) as it becomes modified into its final, adult form (see CELL DIFFERENTIATION). Only at certain, fixed times in its development (see COMPETENCE) is the cell capable of being induced to move into another developmental pathway and thus become a different end type. The process of INDUCTION is thought to be due to chemicals secreted by tissues surrounding the developing cell.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005