The Skin I Live in
The forces that shape embryos, and how embryonic cells respond
Embryos undergo dramatic morphogenetic movements during development. For example, C. elegans embryos begin as a compact ball of cells and elongate into a thin tube. During these movements, C. elegans skin must be able to withstand the pulling and pushing of cells and tissues without coming apart at the seams. How do they do this?
We are examining the formation of the epidermis and its maturation as the embryo elongates. We have identified factors critical to make the epidermis – from transcription factors that regulate the onset of epidermal gene expression to proteins involved in polarizing and reinforcing cells. The most recent work is unpublished, but you can read the beginning of this project here: