University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Morphogenesis Seminar Series > Stretching out the embryo - Anterior expansion and posterior addition to the notochord mechanically coordinate embryo axis elongation

Stretching out the embryo - Anterior expansion and posterior addition to the notochord mechanically coordinate embryo axis elongation

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  • UserSusie McLaren, University of Cambridge
  • ClockTuesday 01 June 2021, 14:30-15:00
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Elena Scarpa.

https://zoom.us/j/94691632022?pwd=a1lrNi82ekE2OHFZYjNLekR3WTU5Zz09

During development the embryo body progressively elongates from head-to-tail along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. We investigated how the morphogenesis of one tissue can physically deform its neighbouring tissues to contribute to axis elongation. The rod-shaped notochord runs through the middle of the embryo and is flanked on either side by the somites in the segmented region of the axis and presomitic mesoderm in the posterior. Cells in the notochord undergo an expansion that is constrained by a stiff sheath of extracellular matrix, leading to an increase in notochord stiffness as the embryo develops – making it a candidate for driving the physical deformation of surrounding somitic tissue. Using multi-photon mediated cell ablation, we removed specific regions of the developing notochord and quantified the impact on axis elongation. We show that anterior notochord cell expansion generates a force that displaces notochord cells posteriorly and contributes to the elongation of segmented tissue during post-tailbud stages of development. Crucially, unexpanded cells derived from posterior progenitors provide resistance to anterior notochord cell expansion, allowing for force generation across the AP axis. Therefore, notochord cell expansion and addition of cells to the posterior notochord act as temporally coordinated morphogenetic events that elongate the zebrafish embryo AP axis.

This talk is part of the Morphogenesis Seminar Series series.

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