Patterning and polarity in morphogenesis

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A joint Guest Edited Collection from Communications Biology and Scientific Reports.

How the shape of organs is established during embryonic development has fascinated scientists since its first description, yet we still lack a deep mechanistic understanding of the cellular processes that drive morphogenesis. Morphogenesis involves a complex interplay of gene regulation, signalling pathways and mechanical cues, and is guided by the processes of tissue patterning – whereby cells adopt certain cell fates and organise into a tissue – and polarity establishment – the asymmetric arrangement of cellular proteins that directs the organisation and orientation of distinct tissue layers. Technological developments such as super resolution microscopy, single-cell technologies, gene editing techniques, synthetic biology, and computational analytical techniques have significantly increased the spatio-temporal detail with which we can probe the mechanisms of morphogenesis.

This Collection welcomes articles that shed light on the molecular and cellular mechanisms and signalling pathways governing tissue patterning and the establishment of polarity during morphogenesis, as well as research using advanced techniques to further our understanding of morphogenesis across scales.

Light micrograph of a developing fish egg on a white background