Post-Turing tissue pattern formation: Advent of mechanochemistry

Felix Brinkmann, Moritz Mercker, Thomas Richter, Anna Marciniak-Czochra

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006259

Chemical and mechanical pattern formation is fundamental during embryogenesis and tissue development. Yet, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are still elusive in many cases. Most current theories assume that tissue development is driven by chemical processes: either as a sequence of chemical patterns each depending on the previous one, or by patterns spontaneously arising from specific chemical interactions (such as “Turing-patterns”). Within both theories, mechanical patterns are usually regarded as passive by-products of chemical pre-patters. However, several experiments question these theories, and an increasing number of studies shows that tissue mechanics can actively influence chemical patterns during development.