IPLS invited speaker - Dr. Koichiro Uriu (Theoretical Biology Laboratory, RIKEN, Japan)
18 November 2014, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm
MRC/Laboratory for Molecular Biology Seminar Room
"Dynamics of mobile coupled genetic oscillators in development"
Cell movement and intercellular signaling are crucial components for animal development. There may be an interplay between these two processes, as they occur simultaneously and with similar timescales. Here we focus on the somitogenesis of vertebrate embryos as a model system to understand how cell movement influences intercellular signaling. We have developed theoretical frameworks to reveal the effect of cell movement on the synchronization of coupled genetic oscillators in vertebrate somitogenesis. In this talk, I first introduce lattice theories for a population of mobile coupled oscillators to study the effect of random cellular motion. Then, I will discuss how synchronization dynamics of oscillators changes in the presence of collective cell movement. Numerical simulations demonstrate that cell movement enhances the synchronization of genetic oscillators across a cell population. Our theoretical results suggest that the precise quantification of cell movement in the tissue is key to understanding the dynamics of coupled genetic oscillators in vertebrate somitogenesis.