University of Cambridge > > Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series > Plenary Lecture 4: How a Volvox embryo turns itself inside out

Plenary Lecture 4: How a Volvox embryo turns itself inside out

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During the growth of daughter colonies of the multicellular alga Volvox the spherical embryos must turn themselves inside out to complete their development. This process of ‘inversion’ has many features in common with gastrulation, the process by which an initially convex spherical shell of animal cells develops an invagination, leading to the formation of a gastric system. In both cases it is understood that cell shape changes play a major role in guiding the process, but quantification of the dynamics, and formulation of a mathematical description of the process, have been lacking. In this talk I will describe advances my group has made recently on both fronts. Using the technique of SPIM (selective plane illumination microscopy) we have obtained the first real-time three-dimensional time-lapse movies of inversion in Volvox, using several species displaying distinct morphological events. The beginnings of an elastic theory of these processes will also be descri bed.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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