Herbert Levine, Univ. of California-San Diego
The development of Dictyostelium from the independent amoeba stage to the multicellular slug and subsequent fruiting body structure has been extensively studied over the past years. Currently we have a good understanding and reasonably accurate models of the first parts of this process, including the formation of the cAMP chemical wave signaling field and the chemotaxis-driven streaming response of the amoeba population. However, we do not as yet have convincing ideas and approaches for the next stage of the morphogenesis, namely cell sorting (after diffrentiation into pre-stalk and pre-spore popukations) and tip formation. This talk will present the approaches we have been taking to address these issues, using both simple automata simulations and full (semi-)quantitative biochemical models.