A mechanochemical instability drives vertebrate gastrulation
Gastrulation is a critical event in vertebrate morphogenesis, characterized by coordinated large-scale multi-cellular movements. One grand challenge in modern biology is understanding how spatio-temporal morphological structures emerge from cellular processes in a developing organism and vary across vertebrates. We derive a theoretical framework that couples tissue flows, stress-dependent myosin activity, and actomyosin cable orientation. Our model, consisting of a set of nonlinear coupled PDEs, predicts the onset and development of observed experimental patterns of wild-type and perturbations of chick gastrulation as a spontaneous instability of a uniform state. We use analysis and numerics to show how our model recapitulates the phase space of gastrulation morphologies seen across vertebrates, consistent with experiments. Altogether, this suggests that early embryonic self-organization follows from a minimal predictive theory of active mechano-sensitive flows.

Date: 21 January 2022, 14:00 (Friday, 1st week, Hilary 2022)
Venue: Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road OX2 6GG
Venue Details: L3
Speaker: Prof Mattia Serra (University of California, San Diego)
Organising department: Mathematical Institute
Organiser: Sara Jolliffe (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address: sara.jolliffe@maths.ox.ac.uk
Host: Professor Philip Maini (University of Oxford)
Part of: Mathematical Biology and Ecology
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Sara Jolliffe