The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

A model of primitive streak initiation in the chick embryo

Page, K. M. and Maini, P. K. and Monk, N. A. M. and Stern, C. D. (2001) A model of primitive streak initiation in the chick embryo. Journal of theoretical Biology, 208 (4). pp. 419-438.



Initiation of the primitive streak in avian embryos provides a well-studied example of a pattern-forming event that displays a striking capacity for regulation. The mechanisms underlying the regulative properties are, however, poorly understood and are not easily accounted for by traditional models of pattern formation, such as reaction–diffusion models. In this paper, we propose a new activator–inhibitor model for streak initiation. We show that the model is consistent with experimental observations, both in its pattern-forming properties and in its ability to form these patterns on the correct time-scales for biologically realistic parameter values. A key component of the model is a travelling wave of inhibition. We present a mathematical analysis of the speed of such waves in both diffusive and juxtacrine relay systems. We use the streak initiation model to make testable predictions. By varying parameters of the model, two very different types of patterning can be obtained, suggesting that our model may be applicable to other processes in addition to streak initiation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:n/a
Subjects:A - C > Biology and other natural sciences
Research Groups:Centre for Mathematical Biology
ID Code:407
Deposited By: Philip Maini
Deposited On:22 Nov 2006
Last Modified:29 May 2015 18:21

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