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Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Aug;22(8):438-46. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Two-dimensional spatial patterning in developmental systems.

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  • 1Department of Biology, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Multicellular organisms produce complex tissues with specialized cell types. During animal development, numerous cell-cell interactions shape tissue patterning through mechanisms involving contact-dependent cell migration and ligand-receptor-mediated lateral inhibition. Owing to the presence of cell walls, plant cells neither migrate nor undergo apoptosis as a means to correct for mis-specified cells. How can plants generate functional tissue patterns? This review aims to deduce fundamental principles of pattern formation through examining two-dimensional (2-D) spatial tissue patterning in plants and animals. Turing's mathematical framework will be introduced and applied to classic examples of de novo 2-D patterning in both animal and plant systems. By comparing their regulatory circuits, new insights into the similarities and differences of the basic principles governing tissue patterning will be discussed.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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