Finding the Center Reliably: Robust Patterns of Developmental Gene Expression

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Finding the Center Reliably: Robust Patterns of Developmental Gene Expression

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 30th January 2006
  • Speaker: Martin Howard (University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

We investigate a mechanism for the robust identification of the center of a developing biological system. We assume the existence of two morphogen gradients, an activator emanating from the anterior, and a corepressor from the posterior. The corepressor inhibits the action of the activator in switching on target genes. We apply this system to Drosophila embryos, where we predict the existence of a hitherto undetected posterior corepressor. Using mathematical modeling, we show that a symmetric activator-corepressor model can quantitatively explain the precise midembryo expression boundary of the hunchback gene, and the scaling of this pattern with embryo size.
See: Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 208103 (2005)

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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