The dynamics and variability of quantitative morphological characters (morphological variables), which undergo changes upon epiboly, were studied by means of vital observations and measurements of developing loach (Misgurnus fossilis L.) embryos within equal time intervals. None of morphological variables, which characterize the dynamics of blastoderm shape, had monotonous dependence on time. In each individual embryo, the intervals of changes in morphological variables in the “normal” direction corresponding to the change of their mean values during the normal course of epiboly alternated with arrests, as well as with the changes of morphological variables in the reverse direction. The dynamics of morphological variables in time, which reflect the sequence of morphological states of the same embryo, and those of individual variations (variations of morphological states of different embryos on the same temporal section) had identical structure. This suggests instability of individual trajectories of morphogenesis or, strictly speaking, their actual absence. It was shown for the first time on the basis of analysis of individual trajectories of morphogenesis that its dynamics corresponded to so-called “determined chaos,” which was previously discussed only as a theoretical possibility. The data obtained suggest that upon approach to the equatorial area of the embryo, the blastoderm marginal zone was elongated in the longitudinal direction and contracted across the axis of its movement. As a result, a positive feedback arises between the cooperated cell movement and the change of shape of the surface, over which the cells move. This leads, due to unstable radial symmetry of this movement, to the formation of embryonic shield.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 21, 2005
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