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Simple Chromosome Partitioning Mechanisms Driven by Molecular Motors

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SPLW02 - Active mechanics, from single cells to cell layers, tissues and development

We are using theory to explore simple mechanisms of chromosome partitioning with the aim of understanding the design principles of mitotic spindle assembly. Firstly, I will present how artificial evolution in a computer can uncover simple combinations of cytoskeletal elements that will self-organize to pull on a kinetochore pair symmetrically and reliably. Secondly, I will discuss the requirements to extend such elementary mechanisms to build a mitotic spindle that can handle multiple chromosomes. Finally, I will present the characteristics of the mitotic spindles found in the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana, and argue that given these quantities, this plant spindle stands out as an ideal subject to build a quantitatively accurate 3D simulation. I will present our attempts to build such a model, detailing the key assumptions and discussing the different aspects that appear correct or still need to be worked out. 

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

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