The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Turing's model for biological pattern formation and the robustness problem

Maini, P. K. and Woolley, T. E. and Baker, R. E. and Gaffney, E. A. and Seirin Lee, S (2012) Turing's model for biological pattern formation and the robustness problem. Interface Focus, 2 (4). pp. 487-496.



One of the fundamental questions in developmental biology is how the vast range of pattern and structure we observe in nature emerges from an almost uniformly homogeneous fertilized egg. In particular, the mechanisms by which biological systems maintain robustness, despite being subject to numerous sources of noise, are shrouded in mystery. Postulating plausible theoretical models of biological heterogeneity is not only difficult, but it is also further complicated by the problem of generating robustness, i.e. once we can generate a pattern, how do we ensure that this pattern is consistently reproducible in the face of perturbations to the domain, reaction time scale, boundary conditions and so forth. In this paper, not only do we review the basic properties of Turing's theory, we highlight the successes and pitfalls of using it as a model for biological systems, and discuss emerging developments in the area.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Turingbiological pattern formation robustness problem
Subjects:A - C > Biology and other natural sciences
Research Groups:Centre for Mathematical Biology
ID Code:1523
Deposited By: Philip Maini
Deposited On:19 Jun 2012 07:54
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:13

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