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Journal Article

Segmentation clock dynamics is strongly synchronized in the forming somite.


Bhavna,  Rajasekaran
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bhavna, R. (2020). Segmentation clock dynamics is strongly synchronized in the forming somite. Developmental biology, 460(1), 55-69. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2019.03.008.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-A344-3
During vertebrate somitogenesis an inherent segmentation clock coordinates the spatiotemporal signaling to generate segmented structures that pattern the body axis. Using our experimental and quantitative approach, we study the cell movements and the genetic oscillations of her1 expression level at single-cell resolution simultaneously and scale up to the entire pre-somitic mesoderm (PSM) tissue. From the experimentally determined phases of PSM cellular oscillators, we deduced an in vivo frequency profile gradient along the anterior-posterior PSM axis and inferred precise mathematical relations between spatial cell-level period and tissue-level somitogenesis period. We also confirmed a gradient in the relative velocities of cellular oscillators along the axis. The phase order parameter within an ensemble of oscillators revealed the degree of synchronization in the tailbud and the posterior PSM being only partial, whereas synchronization can be almost complete in the presumptive somite region but with temporal oscillations. Collectively, the degree of synchronization itself, possibly regulated by cell movement and the synchronized temporal phase of the transiently expressed clock protein Her1, can be an additional control mechanism for making precise somite boundaries.