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J Chem Biol 2013 Sep 13;71:17-28. doi: 10.1007/s12154-013-0101-x.
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Towards 3D in silico modeling of the sea urchin embryonic development.

Rizzi B , Peyrieras N .

Embryogenesis is a dynamic process with an intrinsic variability whose understanding requires the integration of molecular, genetic, and cellular dynamics. Biological circuits function over time at the level of single cells and require a precise analysis of the topology, temporality, and probability of events. Integrative developmental biology is currently looking for the appropriate strategies to capture the intrinsic properties of biological systems. The "-omic" approaches require disruption of the function of the biological circuit; they provide static information, with low temporal resolution and usually with population averaging that masks fast or variable features at the cellular scale and in a single individual. This data should be correlated with cell behavior as cells are the integrators of biological activity. Cellular dynamics are captured by the in vivo microscopy observation of live organisms. This can be used to reconstruct the 3D + time cell lineage tree to serve as the basis for modeling the organism''s multiscale dynamics. We discuss here the progress that has been made in this direction, starting with the reconstruction over time of three-dimensional digital embryos from in toto time-lapse imaging. Digital specimens provide the means for a quantitative description of the development of model organisms that can be stored, shared, and compared. They open the way to in silico experimentation and to a more theoretical approach to biological processes. We show, with some unpublished results, how the proposed methodology can be applied to sea urchin species that have been model organisms in the field of classical embryology and modern developmental biology for over a century.

PubMed ID: 24386014
PMC ID: PMC3877407
Article link: J Chem Biol

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC100893907 LOC115919910 LOC115925415 LOC583082

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References [+] :
Akiyama, A mathematical model of cleavage. 2010, Pubmed, Echinobase