Gastrulation pp 135-146 | Cite as

Dynamical Models for Cell Rearrangement During Morphogenesis

  • Michael Weliky
  • George Oster
Part of the Bodega Marine Laboratory Marine Science Series book series (BMSS)


The spatial form of cells and tissues reflect their underlying physical and mechanical properties. These properties are regulated, primarily by the modification of cell cytoskeletal components, to produce a large repertoire of cell behaviors, including cell shape changes and directed motility. In a number of instances, these behaviors drive tissue morphogenesis during embryological development. Here we propose a mechanical model for studying tissue morphogenesis by cell rearrangement and cell shape change. Our model describes these processes by accounting for the balance of forces between neighboring cells that are junctionally coupled within a tissue. The model is applied to two embryological settings: epiboly in the teleost fish Fundulus, and notochord extension in Xenopus laevis.


Xenopus Laevis Cell Node Elastic Force Interior Cell Cell Sheet 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Weliky
    • 1
  • George Oster
    • 2
  1. 1.Group in Neurobiology c/o George OsterUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology, and EntomologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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