23/01/2023 – Pavel Tomancak (MPI-CBG, Dresden)

Evolution of Morphogenesis: the case of cephalic furrow 

I will discuss ideas and results on how we can understand evolution of morphogenesis through a comparative approach.

30/01/2023 – Kalika Prasad (IISER, Pune) 

Mechano-chemical feedbacks in plant regeneration   

Plants display remarkable developmental plasticity and can regenerate complete organ systems from a few existing cells in response to external inductive cues. A complete shoot system can be regenerated from undifferentiated callus through the age-old practice of de novo organogenesis. Recent studies have implicated a number of developmentally regulated genes in this process. While these studies provide a deterministic view, unitary principles associated with self-organisation of regenerating cells remain largely unknown. I will discuss how interplay between mechanical and biochemical effects sculpts the dome shaped meristem from regenerating progenitors in the absence of pre-patterning cues. 

06/02/2023 – Kyogo Kawaguchi  (Riken BDR, Kobe)

13/02/2023 – Eva Zaffarini (McCaig Institute, University of Calgary)

Cephalo-pelvic integration in hybrid mouse models and implications for human obstructed labour

The extremely tight fit between fetal head and maternal pelvic canal during childbirth is a cause of high mortality in humans. However, the relatively narrow size of the female pelvis, evolved for efficient bipedal locomotion, shows morphological covariation with head size, a highly heritable trait. This covariation is thought to reduce the risk of cephalo-pelvic mismatch and obstructed labour1. Morphological covariation arises through the evolution of mechanisms that mediate the coordinated development of functionally related characters2. Hybridization often reduces the degree of morphological integration between characters via genetic introgression3. My research investigates how hybridization in mice influences morphological covariation between skull and pelvis in relation to obstructed labour. After quantifying skull and pelvic shape in different wild mice species and their hybrids, I test the change in their degree and patterns of shape covariation, especially focusing on obstetric-relevant aspects of the pelvis and skull.

13/02/2023 – Maria Paraskevi Kotini (Biozentrum, University of Basel)


20/02/2023 –  Clare Buckley (PDN, University of Cambridge)

Building and Breaking the Neural Tube 

My lab investigates the morphogenesis of epithelial tubes during development and disease. Broadly, we want to know how epithelial tubes first polarise, how they open (rather than close) and why they break during disease. We are currently particularly interested in understanding the links between cell-cell adhesion, actomyosin contractility and cellular mechanics during secondary neurulation. To investigate these processes, we use high resolution imaging, CRISPR and optogenetics approaches in vivo, with the developing zebrafish neural tube and in vitro, within multicellular mouse embryonic stem cell cultures.

27/02/2023 – Agata Burian |(University of Silesia, Katowice)

On the specification of leaf dorsiventrality 

Organogenesis in plants is closely related to the activity of the shoot apical meristem. The formation of lateral organs, such as leaves or flowers, is initiated at the meristem periphery by the establishment of local auxin maxima. In contrast to flowers, leaves are organs of dorsiventral symmetry, which is manifested in adaxial-abaxial leaf polarity. Adaxial and abaxial leaf sites are anatomically and functionally distinct, and their juxtaposition is essential for generating the flattened shape of a leaf blade. In this talk I will discuss how adaxial and abaxial cell fates are established at the shoot apical meristem of Arabidopsis, and what the role of auxin is in this process. Furthermore, I will show that that tracing cell lineages based on time-lapse imaging of a growing shoot apex is a useful toot that enables to link cell fates with dynamic gene expression patterns.

06/03/2023 – Lakshmi Balasubramaniam (Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge)

Life and death of cells a mystery solved through biomechanics 

Tissue homeostasis of matured epithelia are maintained through a tight balance of cell proliferation and cell extrusion. The fate of the extruding cell and its viability plays a major role in determining health of the tissue. In this work we show that removal of E-cadherin an adherens junction protein leads to an increase in live cell extrusion. This live cell extrusion is accompanied by a switch in the direction of cell extrusion from apical to basal side. Mechanical measurements combined with phase field modelling show that local stress fluctuations regulate the mode of extrusions due to changes in cell-cell adhesions and internal activity. This form of live and basal extrusion can be a mode of cell extravasation during cancer. 

06/03/2023 – Guy Blanchard (PDN, University of Cambridge)

Tissue stress anisotropy and neighbour compression combine in mitosis to orient epithelial cell divisions 

13/03/2023 – Jesse Veenvliet (MPI-CBG, Dresden)

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