[Shigeru Kondo] Investigation of the mechanism of biological pattern formation that may allow us to control the shape of animals

Research Director

Shigeru Kondo

Shigeru Kondo

Osaka University


Because morphogenesis of organism is a dynamic process in which many elements (cells and genes) are involved, use of mathematical models and computer simulation is indispensable. We have identified a novel mechanism of cellular network that forms the skin pattern of zebrafish. In the fish skin, two kinds of pigment cells (black and yellow) interact each other via the projection extended from the cells. Touch of the cells induces various cellular behaviors, and the effective distance of the interaction is determined by the length of cell projections. The identified mechanism is a quite new one, but the dynamic property of it is almost identical to the hypothetical mathematical model called as Turing model. The property of pattern formation of the mechanism is not restricted by any specific molecules or cells, but purely determined by the diagram of networks, suggesting the generality of the mechanism. In this CREST project, we want to identify the morphogenetic events in which the same mechanism underlies and want to develop a method to control the shape of animals.

Toshihiko Ogura Professor, Tohoku Univ.

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