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The scale-invariance of spatial patterning in a developing system

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Regulating systems, that is, those which exhibit scale-invariant patterns in the adult, are supposed, to do so on account of interactions between cells during development. The nature of these interactions has to be such that the system of positional information (“map”) in the embryo also regulates. To our knowledge, this supposition regarding a regulating map has not been subjected to a direct test in any embryonic system. Here we do so by means of a simple and novel criterion and use it to examine tip regeneration in the mulicellular stage (slug) ofDictyostelium discoideum. When anterior, tip-containing fragments of slugs are amputated, a new tip spontaneously regenerates at the cut surface of the (remaining) posterior fragment. The time needed for regeneration to occur depends on the relative size of the amputated fragment but is independent of the total size of the slug. We conclude from this finding that there is at least one system underlying positional information in the slug which regulates.

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Correspondence to Vidyanand Nanjundiah.

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Lokeshwar, B.L., Nanjundiah, V. The scale-invariance of spatial patterning in a developing system. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv 190, 361–364 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00863274

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Key words

  • Regulation
  • Positional Information
  • Regeneration
  • Dictyostelium