Developmental Biology

Modeling Developmental Segmentation

Science's STKE  02 Oct 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 406, pp. tw355
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4062007tw355

One of the classic problems in embryology is the segmentation of the body plan. In vertebrates, this process is underpinned by a multicellular oscillatory genetic network. Riedel-Kruse et al. modeled this complex "segmentation clock" as a population of simple, coupled oscillators in the presence of noise and compared their modeling with experimentally induced segment defects after quantitative inhibition of Notch signaling in the zebrafish embryo. The model predicts the position of posterior defects, a synchronized transition, and the existence of resynchronization and allows the estimation of coupling strength, noise, and robustness to perturbation.

I. H. Riedel-Kruse, C. Müller, A. C. Oates, Synchrony dynamics during initiation, failure, and rescue of the segmentation clock. Science 317, 1911-1915 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]