PMID: 107688Jan 1, 1978

Shape: its development and regulation capacity during embryogenesis

Acta Biotheoretica
J Herkovits, J Faber


Although several theoretical approaches consider general methods for dealing with shape, recent observations and experimental data show that embryos exhibit marked changes in the properties of the biological material involved in shape development and shape regulation capacity. In vivo experiments have shown that the amphibian embryo gradually develops from a situation in which it is not able to maintain its shape to one in which it can not only maintain its shape but also possesses a maximal tolerance towards deformation together with a maximal shape regulation capacity. So far two especially clear conclusions have emerged: (i) the form of the embryo appears to be determined by cell activities intrinsic to each stage, and (ii) the morphogenetic programme can be executed normally within wide limits notwithstanding dramatic deformations of the embryo during quite a long period. Thus the hypothesis may be advanced that shape and morphogenesis to some extent become independent phenomena during embryonic development.


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