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Generation and Interpretation of Morphogen Gradients

Subject Area(s):  Developmental BiologyCell BiologyMolecular BiologyNeurobiology

Edited by James Briscoe, MRC National Institute for Medical Research; Peter A. Lawrence, University of Cambridge, and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Jean-Paul Vincent, MRC National Institute for Medical Research

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© 2010 • 308 pp., illus., index
Hardcover •
ISBN  978-0-879698-81-2

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Signaling by diffusible morphogens, such as Hedgehog, Wingless, TGF-β, and various growth factors, is essential during embryogenesis. The establishment of concentration gradients of these morphogens is vital for developmental patterning, ensuring that distinct differentiated cell types appear in the right place and at the right time in forming tissues.

Written and edited by experts in the field, this collection from Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology explores how morphogen gradients are generated and interpreted during development. The contributors examine the regulation of morphogen synthesis, trafficking, and diffusion, as well as the complex webs of signaling mechanisms and transcriptional responses in recipient cells — whose fates are dictated by these morphogens.

Including discussion of the roles of morphogen gradients in various tissues in organisms from yeast to humans, the volume is an indispensable reference for developmental biologists and cell biologists wishing to know how cell fate is determined during embryogenesis.


Morphogen Gradient Formation
Ortrud Wartlick, Anna Kicheva, and Marcos González-Gaitán
Models for the Generation and Interpretation of Gradients
Hans Meinhardt
Robust Generation and Decoding of Morphogen Gradients
Naama Barkai and Ben-Zion Shilo
The Measure of Success: Constraints, Objectives, and Tradeoffs in Morphogen-mediated Patterning
Arthur D. Lander, Wing-Cheong Lo, Qing Nie, and Frederic Y.M. Wan
Shaping Morphogen Gradients by Proteoglycans
Dong Yan and Xinhua Lin
Forming and Interpreting Gradients in the Early Xenopus Embryo
James C. Smith
Systems Biology of the Self-regulating Morphogenetic Gradient of the Xenopus Gastrula
Jean-Louis Plouhinec and E.M. De Robertis
Nodal Morphogens
Alexander F. Schier
Gradients in Planarian Regeneration and Homeostasis
Teresa Adell, Francesc Cebriò, and Emili Saló
Axial Patterning in Hydra
Hans R. Bode
Regulation of Organ Growth by Morphogen Gradients
Gerald Schwank and Konrad Basler
Signaling Gradients during Paraxial Mesoderm Development
Alexander Aulehla and Olivier Pourquié
Vertebrate Limb Development: Moving from Classical Morphogen Gradients to an Integrated 4-Dimensional Patterning System
Jean-Denis Bénazet and Rolf Zeller
Establishing and Interpreting Graded Sonic Hedgehog Signaling during Vertebrate Neural Tube Patterning: The Role of Negative Feedback
Vanessa Ribes and James Briscoe
Gradients in the Brain: The Control of the Development of Form and Function in the Cerebral Cortex
Stephen N. Sansom and Frederick J. Livesey
Graded Dorsal and Differential Gene Regulation in the Drosophila Embryo
Gregory T. Reeves and Angelike Stathopoulos
Gradients and the Specification of Planar Polarity in the Insect Cuticle
David Strutt
Chemical Gradients and Chemotropism in Yeast
Robert A. Arkowitz
Forming Patterns in Development without Morphogen Gradients: Scattered Differentiation and Sorting Out
Robert R. Kay and Christopher R.L. Thompson

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