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Size-Regulated Symmetry Breaking in Reaction-Diffusion Models of Developmental Transitions

Scoones, Jake Cornwall and Banerjee, Deb Sankar and Banerjee, Shiladitya (2020) Size-Regulated Symmetry Breaking in Reaction-Diffusion Models of Developmental Transitions. Cells, 9 (7). Art. No. 1646. ISSN 2073-4409. PMCID PMC7407810.

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The development of multicellular organisms proceeds through a series of morphogenetic and cell-state transitions, transforming homogeneous zygotes into complex adults by a process of self-organisation. Many of these transitions are achieved by spontaneous symmetry breaking mechanisms, allowing cells and tissues to acquire pattern and polarity by virtue of local interactions without an upstream supply of information. The combined work of theory and experiment has elucidated how these systems break symmetry during developmental transitions. Given that such transitions are multiple and their temporal ordering is crucial, an equally important question is how these developmental transitions are coordinated in time. Using a minimal mass-conserved substrate-depletion model for symmetry breaking as our case study, we elucidate mechanisms by which cells and tissues can couple reaction–diffusion-driven symmetry breaking to the timing of developmental transitions, arguing that the dependence of patterning mode on system size may be a generic principle by which developing organisms measure time. By analysing different regimes of our model, simulated on growing domains, we elaborate three distinct behaviours, allowing for clock-, timer- or switch-like dynamics. Relating these behaviours to experimentally documented case studies of developmental timing, we provide a minimal conceptual framework to interrogate how developing organisms coordinate developmental transitions.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle Paper
Banerjee, Shiladitya0000-0001-8000-2556
Additional Information:© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Received: 21 April 2020; Accepted: 6 July 2020; Published: 9 July 2020. The authors thank Andrew Goryachev and the anonymous reviewers for many useful comments and suggestions. Author Contributions: Conceptualization, J.C.S., D.S.B. and S.B.; methodology, D.S.B.; validation, J.C.S., D.S.B. and S.B.; formal analysis, D.S.B.; investigation, J.C.S., D.S.B. and S.B.; resources, S.B.; data curation, J.C.S., and D.S.B.; writing—original draft preparation, J.C.S., D.S.B. and S.B.; writing—review and editing, J.C.S., D.S.B. and S.B.; visualization, J.C.S., D.S.B. and S.B.; supervision, S.B.; project administration, S.B.; funding acquisition, S.B. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. SB acknowledges funding from Royal Society University Research Fellowship URF/R1/180187, Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) grant number RGY0073/2018, and Carnegie Mellon startup funds. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Royal SocietyURF/R1/180187
Human Frontier Science ProgramRGY0073/2018
Carnegie Mellon UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:symmetry breaking; pattern formation; reaction-diffusion; developmental transitions
Issue or Number:7
PubMed Central ID:PMC7407810
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200710-103651128
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Official Citation:Cornwall Scoones, J.; Banerjee, D.S.; Banerjee, S. Size-Regulated Symmetry Breaking in Reaction-Diffusion Models of Developmental Transitions. Cells 2020, 9, 1646; doi: 10.3390/cells9071646
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104323
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Jul 2020 18:15
Last Modified:14 Aug 2020 21:46

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