From Birth to Pass Away, the Molecular Biology of Pattern Formation II

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

Titles and sub-titles on the weeks in the second semester

1 Introduction

Overwiev of topics in the first semester.

The program of the second semester

1-4 The beauty of flowers - pattern formation in plants

The origin of asymmetry - patterning in the early embryogenesis

Latter pattern formation events I. - patterning in vegetative apices

- the formation of tissue zonation and nesting in the root tip

- the formation of shoot architecture

Latter pattern formation events II. - floral patterning

- the genetics of whorl determination

- the control of floral patterning: the determination of meristem type, floral

organs, shape and coloration

The patterning of time - molecular clock mechanisms

- the structure of biological clock mechanisms

- plant clock mechanisms in the determination of flowering time

6-8 Arms, legs, wings - the control of appendage development in vertebrates

The early and late patterning - the "Hox" divide

The structural and functional properties of Hox genes

The definition of the position and type of limb primordium and the formation of the x/y


- the x/y polarization in the limb primordia

- segmentation along the proximo-distal (z) axis - expression fields, morphogen

gradients, and the ZPA and AER organizators

- the Hox-scaling of z-segments

Scaling of a segment - determination of the numbers and types of fingers

- the Shh-Gli3 system

- the role of Hox genes

9-10 Fine tuning and maintenance - finishing works in body pattern formation

Dimensioning - the determination of size

- controlling the balance of cell cycle and apoptosis

- dimension and shape variants in leaves, flowers and wings

Design "without patterning"

Repair mechanisms - the maintenance of patterns

- the role of stem cells

- regulators of pattern formation and the maintenance of stem cell state

11-14 Why dragons do not exist? - perturbations in molecular patterning

Organismic level perturbaions in the function of pattern controlling molecules

Species level perturbations in the control of patterning

- gnoms or the evolution of ontogenesis - EVO-DEVO

- genetic interpretation of (ECO)-EVO-DEVO

The descendance of Hox-genes and the evolution of design

The mecahnisms of speciation - the significance of the quantity and quality of Hox proteins

- the descendance maize fro teozinte

- the appendage evolution in vertebrates

- insect evolution with changes of Ubx

- the "Hox model" of shape evolution in modular segments

The dynamics of speciation - the role of stress factor

- variant generation with Hsp90 inactivation

- the interpretation of gradual and puncuated evolution

"Applied" EVO-DEVO - hopeful monsters

A "brave new world" - concluding remarks

  • Carroll, Grenier, Weatherbee: From DNA to diversity, molecular genetics and the evolution of animal design, second edition, (Blackwell Publishing, 2005),

  • Lecture notes and slides