1. Physics of Living Systems
  2. Computational and Systems Biology
Download icon

Global morphogenetic flow is accurately predicted by the spatial distribution of myosin motors

  1. Sebastian J Streichan  Is a corresponding author
  2. Matthew Lefebvre
  3. Nicholas Noll
  4. Eric F Wieschaus
  5. Boris I Shraiman  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
  2. Princeton University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 6
  • Views 2,181
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e27454 doi: 10.7554/eLife.27454

Abstract

During embryogenesis tissue layers undergo morphogenetic flow rearranging and folding into specific shapes. While developmental biology has identified key genes and local cellular processes, global coordination of tissue remodeling at the organ scale remains unclear. Here we combine in toto light-sheet microscopy of the Drosophila embryo with quantitative analysis and physical modeling to relate cellular flow with the patterns of force generation during the gastrulation process. We find that the complex spatio-temporal flow pattern can be predicted from the measured meso-scale myosin density and anisotropy using a simple effective viscous model of the tissue, achieving close to 90% accuracy with one time dependent and two constant parameters. Our analysis uncovers the importance of a) spatial modulation of myosin distribution on the scale of the embryo and b) the non-locality of its effect due to mechanical interaction of cells, demonstrating the need for the global perspective in the study of morphogenetic flow.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Sebastian J Streichan

    Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    For correspondence
    streicha@kitp.ucsb.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Matthew Lefebvre

    Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Nicholas Noll

    Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1698-7500
  4. Eric F Wieschaus

    Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0727-3349
  5. Boris I Shraiman

    Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, United States
    For correspondence
    shraiman@kitp.ucsb.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0886-8990

Funding

National Science Foundation (PHY-1220616)

  • Boris I Shraiman

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Eric F Wieschaus

National Institutes of Health (NICHD 1K99HD088708)

  • Sebastian J Streichan

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF #2919)

  • Boris I Shraiman

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Frank Jülicher, Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: April 5, 2017
  2. Accepted: January 20, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: February 9, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: March 8, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Streichan et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Metrics

  • 2,181
    Page views
  • 428
    Downloads
  • 6
    Citations

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, Scopus, PubMed Central.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems
    Silas Boye Nissen et al.
    Research Article Updated
    1. Neuroscience
    2. Physics of Living Systems
    Simon Bulley et al.
    Research Article Updated