Imaging Drosophila embryo gastrulation to identify stress fields and biomechanical feedback
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Several potential mechanisms of mechanical coordination of the constriction of the cell apices in groups of cells have been proposed. Our previous computational studies have shown a connection between tensile mechanical feedback and Cellular Constriction Chains (CCCs) that propagate during the first phase of Ventral Furrow Formation (VFF) in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. Detailed imaging of the underside of the embryo allows us to analyze how morphological aspects of cell clusters change over time. We have used confocal microscopy to take high-resolution time-lapsed images of living Spider GFP embryos, mutants that have Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) embedded in their cell membranes. Monitoring the progression of individual cell shapes through image analysis, we have explored nature of mechanical coordination responsible and established a method for evaluating the underlying cause of cellular group formations.