Pattern formation in developing organisms can be regulated at a variety of levels, from gene sequence to anatomy. At this level of complexity, mechanistic models of development become essential for integrating data, guiding future experiments, and predicting the effects of genetic and physical perturbations. However, the formulation and analysis of quantitative models of development are limited by high levels of uncertainty in experimental measurements, a large number of both known and unknown system components, and the multiscale nature of development. At the same time, an expanding arsenal of experimental tools can constrain models and directly test their predictions, making the modeling efforts not only necessary, but feasible. Using a number of problems in fruit fly development, we discuss how models can be used to test the feasibility of proposed patterning mechanisms and characterize their systems-level properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology