Seminar with Nic Geard

Date: 28th July, 11am

Location: 78-621, GP South

Evolving Gene Regulatory Networks for Cellular Morphogenesis

Tim Rudge and Nic Geard (presenting)

The generation of pattern and form in a developing organism results from a
combination of interacting processes operating at different spatial and
temporal scales.  At the genetic level, networks of interacting genes set up
and maintain complex patterns of gene expression across a field of cells.
At a cellular level, physical processes such as cell growth and division
generate shape the structure of those cells.  The processes at both of these
levels are tightly coupled: cellular events such as growth and division are
under a degree of genetic control; and changes in cell structure result in
changes to the inputs received by the genetic system within each cell.

In this talk we present an integrated modeling framework for simulating
multicellular morphogenesis that includes plausible models of both genetic
and cellular processes, as well as an evolutionary component that allows us
to search for interesting developmental systems.  We are applying our
modeling system to questions about the development of plant leaves -
specifically, how do genetic and cellular processes interact to ensure that
the development of leaves is robust to sources of environmental
perturbation.  We present the results of initial experiments performed using
this framework and discuss some of the implications for complex systems in
more general terms.

A paper reporting this work has recently been submitted to the Second
Australian Conference on Artificial Life.

World-class basic and applied inter-disciplinary research on questions fundamental to understanding, designing and managing complex systems
2009 The ARC Centre for Complex Systems, Australia