MOrphogenesis Simulation and Analysis In siliCo (MOSAIC)

The MOSAIC team is interested in the morphogenesis of life forms such as plants and animal embryos. We focus on how the biochemical and biophysical processes interact to shape organisms. To address the complexity of the underlying mechanisms and of their interactions, we develop computational models based on 3D imaging of form development. Our aim is to progressively construct an approach inspired from the theory of dynamical systems applied to the development of life forms.

For this, the team is lead to develop and explore the use of computational and mathematical concepts within a large variety of domains : form algebra, ODE/PDE, dynamical systems, fractals, stochastic processes, continuum mechanics, FEM, information theory, graph theory, computational geometry, unconventional programming languages. The team collaborates tightly with several teams of biologists with whom it shares biological questions and develops new methods.

Main results :

- Stochastic model of phyllotaxis : we revisited the classical deterministic model of phyllotaxis to integrate a stochastic component able to reflect the stochastic nature of the molecular processes underlying the initiation of organs at the tip of plant stems. This model recapitulates all the spiral and whorl patterns explained by the previous classical model and explains precisely stochastic perturbation patterns observed recently in various plants. This work was done in collaboration with the Teva Vernoux’s group at RDP.

- Feedback between mechanical stresses and tissue anisotropy in growing plant tissues : We developed a multiscale model of tissue response to the mechanical stresses that built up within tissues during development, based on a realistic description of cell wall remodeling processes.

- Cell fate in Ascidian embryo development : In collaboration with Patrick Lemaire’s group, we developed a new imaging pipeline to image high-throughput sequences of ascidian embryo development. We used these high spatial and temporal resolution sequences to develop a model of cell fate acquisition at the level of the embryo and to show that contact surfaces between the cells are essential explicative variable of differential induction in ascidian cells.

- Gnomon : The team develops a computational platform to analyse and simulate the development of life forms in 3D.

Team members

Our publications

We recruit