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In silico reconstruction of Zebrafish lateral line morphogenesis at single-cell resolution

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Poster Session II

Noon – 2:00 p.m

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • D.E. Dalle Nogare
  • K.M.T Somers
  • A.B. Chitnis


The lateral line is a system of sensory structures, called neuromasts, arrayed along the length of the animal whose primary purpose is detection of water flow. The lateral line is derived form the lateral line primordium, which migrates along the length of the embryo from 22-48hpf and deposits epithelial cell clusters that will go on to form the mature neuromasts of the lateral line. This work the first complete description of the morphogenesis of the lateral line using high resolution timelapse microscopy. We developed tools to allow us to identify and follow every cell that will make up this organ. Furthermore, we developed a computational platform that allows us to reconstruct these cells in silico and overlay dynamic information on the movie, generating a "digital primordium". This complete computational reconstruction has allowed us to investigate previously opaque questions of lineage and fate determination and has identified novel features of the migrating primordium that may shed light on the mechanisms of collective migration, a process with broad implications for human health.

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