The segment polarity gene family, and its gene regulatory network, is at the basis of Drosophila embryonic development. The network's capacity for generating and robustly maintaining a specific gene expression pattern has been investigated through mathematical modelling. The models have provided several useful insights by suggesting essential network links, or uncovering the importance of the relative time scales of different biological processes in the formation of the segment polarity genes' expression patterns. But the developmental pattern formation process raises many other questions. Two of these questions are analysed here: the dependence of the signalling protein sloppy paired on the segment polarity genes and the effect of cell division on the segment polarity genes' expression patterns. This study suggests that cell division increases the robustness of the segment polarity network with respect to perturbations in biological processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering