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Flower development as an interplay between dynamical physical field and genetic networks
Barrio, Rafael Ángel; Hernández Machado, Aurora; Varea, C.; Romero-Arias, José Roberto; Alvarez-Buylla, Elena
Universitat de Barcelona
In this paper we propose a model to describe the mechanisms by which undifferentiated cells attain gene configurations underlying cell fate determination during morphogenesis. Despite the complicated mechanisms that surely intervene in this process, it is clear that the fundamental fact is that cells obtain spatial and temporal information that bias their destiny. Our main hypothesis assumes that there is at least one macroscopic field that breaks the symmetry of space at a given time. This field provides the information required for the process of cell differentiation to occur by being dynamically coupled to a signal transduction mechanism that, in turn, acts directly upon the gene regulatory network (GRN) underlying cell-fate decisions within cells. We illustrate and test our proposal with a GRN model grounded on experimental data for cell fate specification during organ formation in early Arabidopsis thaliana flower development. We show that our model is able to recover the multigene configurations characteristic of sepal, petal, stamen and carpel primordial cells arranged in concentric rings, in a similar pattern to that observed during actual floral organ determination. Such pattern is robust to alterations of the model parameters and simulated failures predict altered spatio-temporal patterns that mimic those described for several mutants. Furthermore, simulated alterations in the physical fields predict a pattern equivalent to that found in Lacandonia schismatica, the only flowering species with central stamens surrounded by carpels.
Desenvolupament de les plantes
Diferenciació cel·lular
Arabidopsis thaliana
Plant development
Cell diferentiation
Arabidopsis thaliana
cc-by (c) Barrio, Rafael Ángel et al., 2010
Public Library of Science (PLoS)

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