Models for Positional Information and Positional Differentiation


It is commonly thought that the formation of patterns in developing organisms is due to the existence of a gradient of a morphogen that determines the fate of cells as a function of position in the organism. A model is presented based on a molecular mechanism where the gradient is established by the active transport of a morphogen between source and sink. The cellular differentiation and the subsequent spatial pattern formation results from the interaction of this morphogen with the genetic regulatory mechanisms of cells. Some properties of the model are given and discussed in relation to grafting experiments in hydra.

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