Physics-Biology interface seminar: Bertrand Benazeraf


11:00 - 12:00

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From stem cells heterogeneity to tissue morphogenesis during vertebrate embryo development.

Bertrand Benazeraf (U. Paul Sabatier, Toulouse)

Understanding the formation of embryonic shapes is one of the fundamental themes in developmental biology and a significant challenge to better understand congenital diseases. Posterior axis elongation is the morphogenetic event that produces the typical head-to-tail elongated body shape of vertebrate embryos. While the mechanisms of tissue elongation have mostly been studied in separate tissue types, the principles allowing for the coordination of elongation between tissues remain largely unknown. By using a combination of classical embryological techniques, live imaging of bird embryos, image analysis, and mathematical modeling, we are currently exploring different aspects of axis elongation at the multi-tissue scale. To better understand the coordination between cell specification and morphogenesis we are also studying neuro-mesodermal progenitors, a stem cell population located in the embryonic tail. Our results suggest that spatial cell-to-cell heterogeneity within progenitor cells is playing a key role in the robustness of multi-tissue morphogenetic processes.

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