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Interplay between genetic control and self-organization during embryo morphogenesis

Interplay between genetic control and self-organization during embryo morphogenesis

Objective

Morphogenesis seeks to understand how information and mechanics emerge from molecular interactions and how they are regulated in space and time. Two parallel legacies are now intertwined: the conceptual framework of developmental patterning that explains how cells acquire positional information during development and control cell behaviors, and the description of biological processes in physical terms. The current framework explains how genetic and biochemical information controls cellular mechanics, in particular contractility mediated by actomyosin networks, and thus cell and tissue shape changes. However, newly reported contractile dynamics, namely pulses, flows and waves, cannot be explained in this framework: they are self-organized in that they depend on local mechano-chemical interactions and feedback that cannot be accounted for by upstream genetic control. This project will explore the interplay between genetic control and self-organization in Drosophila embryos. We will study the emergence of multicellular flow and the mechanism of newly characterized tissue-level trigger wave dynamics associated with endoderm invagination, a poorly studied process.
We will ask: 1) how do patterns of apical and basal contractility drive cell dynamics; 2) what is the contribution of geometrical feedback, e.g. tissue curvature, in amplifying the effect of contractile asymmetries; and 3) what is the nature of mechanical feedback and cell spatial coupling underlying trigger wave dynamics in the tissue?
We will use an interdisciplinary approach, combining live imaging, capturing the 3D shape of cells/tissues, genetic/optogenetic/mechanical perturbations and theoretical/computational methods to model mechanics and geometry.
We expect to unravel how organized multicellular dynamics emerge from genetic, mechanical and geometric “information”, and feedback during morphogenesis. This work will shed new light on a variety of morphogenetic processes occurring during development.
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Host institution

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

Address

Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 862 571

Beneficiaries (1)

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CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 2 862 571

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 788308

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 November 2018

  • End date

    31 October 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 862 571

  • EU contribution

    € 2 862 571

Hosted by:

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France