In vivo and in silico analyses of tensional homeostasis during epithelial morphogenesis 


How do tissues sense and respond to the changing shape of the growing embryo? We address this in the zebrafish neural tube roof plate; a squamous epithelium of single cell thickness composed of polygonal cells in a tensioned lattice. Time-lapse imaging in wildtype and mutant zebrafish using cutting edge confocal microscopy and computational models of deformable lattices with different morphological properties will be used. We will test the hypothesis that epithelial growth and shape is integrated with surrounding tissue morphogenesis via tension driven lattice plasticity. Lattice plasticity operates through a combination of cell division, cell shape change and cell extrusion


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Aegerter-Wilmsen et al (2010). Exploring the effects of mechanical feedback on epithelial topology. Development 137, 499-506.


Broom et al (2012). The roof plate boundary is a bi-directional organiser of dorsal neural tube and choroid plexus development. Development 139, 4261-70.


Fletcher et al (2013) Implementing vertex dynamics models of cell populations in biology within a consistent computational framework. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 113(2):299-326.


Holmes WR and Edelstein-Keshet L. (2012) A Comparison of Computational Models for Eukaryotic Cell Shape and Motility. PLoS Comput Biol. 8(12): e1002793.

Biological Areas:

Cell Biology


Genes, development and STEM approaches to biology