Robustness in Drosophila embryo patterning

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We also work on the formation of the Bicoid gradient from its mRNA gradient, as suggested by a recent publication [1]. We model the active quasi-random transport of bcd mRNA from the anterior pole (along a non-polar cortical microtubules network), forming a complex with the mRNA-binding protein Staufen, in a pure diffusive way. Establishment of the Bcd protein gradient arises by local translation from the non-localized and evolving mRNA gradient. We use a simple and general formalism for the modeling of morphogen gradient formation which allows to obtain explicit analytical solutions in the 1D case. We can also estimate diffusive parameters. The model is also being compared to static source models (without mRNA transport) involving delocalization of the source (step- and Gaussian source).

Recommended reading

  • Introduction to Systems Biology, Uri Alon
  • Developmental Biology, Gilbert
  • Review on A-P patterning in the Drosophila embryo [2][3]
  • Precision and Scaling of the Bicoid gradient [4][5][6][7][8][9]
  • Temperature robustness of the Bicoid gradient [10]


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  1. pmid = 19168676


  2. Anterior-posterior patterning in the Drosophila embryo Advances in Developmental Biology and Biochemistry, 2002, 12, 155-204


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