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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Sep 4;85(10):2212-5.

Spontaneous symmetry breaking turing-type pattern formation in a confined Dictyostelium cell mass.

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Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, Katahira, Sendai 980-8577, Japan.


We have discovered a new type of patterning which occurs in a two-dimensionally confined cell mass of the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Besides the longitudinal structure reported earlier, we observed a spontaneous symmetry breaking spot pattern whose wavelength shows similar strain dependency to that of the longitudinal pattern. We propose that these structures are due to a reaction-diffusion Turing instability similar to the one which has been exemplified by CIMA (chlorite-iodide-malonic acid) reaction. The present finding may exhibit the first biochemical Turing structure in a developmental system with a controllable boundary condition.

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