Mechanisms of Biological Pattern Formation

  • Hans Meinhardt
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 263)


The development of a higher organism with all its differentiated cells in complex but precise spatial arrangement is one of the most spectacular events in living systems. This process must be encoded in the genes. The similarity of identical twins provides some intuition about how precisely the final pattern is determined. The reference to the genes, however, does not provide an explanation of how spatial pattern of an organism is generated, since during cell division, as the rule, both daughter cells obtain the same genetic information. The question is then how different genetic information can be activated in different regions of the (originally more or less homogeneous) mass of cells that differently programmed cells arise in a controlled spatial neighborhood.


Pattern Formation Cell State Positional Information Correct Ratio Symmetrical Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Meinhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für EntwicklungsbiologieTübingenGermany

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