Understanding the Basis for Morphogenesis in the Early Mammalian Embryo


Wednesday 13th July 2022
3pm London, 4pm Berlin, 6pm Dubai

Shankar Srinivas

Professor of Developmental Biology, Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford

During embryonic development, the patterning of tissues is closely coordinated with their morphogenesis. Starting from a predominantly symmetric zygote, the embryo progressively acquires axial asymmetries that form the basis for the gradual establishment of the adult body plan.

After implantation, the mouse embryo acquires a cylindrical morphology composed of three tissues; the pluripotent epiblast gives rise to most of the cells of the fetus, while the extra-embryonic ectoderm (ExE) and visceral endoderm (VE) contribute predominantly to extra-embryonic tissues.

As epiblast cells epithelialize, the cylinder is ‘hollowed out’ by the formation of the proamniotic cavity. Soon after, a morphologically distinct subset of cells within the VE, the anterior visceral endoderm (AVE), is induced at the distal tip of the egg cylinder. AVE cells show a stereotypic directional migratory behavior that is essential for specifying the polarity of the anterior-posterior (the future rostral-caudal) axis.

Despite our understanding of the patterning of these tissues, the mechanical forces responsible for morphogenesis of the egg cylinder and AVE migration remain unclear.

Join Professor Shankar Srinivas (University of Oxford) for this webinar to learn about how his lab have developed a non-invasive approach for measuring one such mechanical property in mouse embryos—the relative membrane tension—using the Flipper-TR® tension-sensitive dye and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM).

Hear about his recent findings relating to the cellular, molecular and mechanical control of morphogenesis in the early mouse embryo.

In this webinar, you will discover:

  • The importance of mechanical heterogeneities in the mammalian embryo during morphogenesis;
  • How to use the Flipper-TR® tension-sensitive dye in conjunction with FLIM to measure relative membrane tension;
  • How the morphological and behavioral differences among embryonic cells relate to differences in their mechanical properties.
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