2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Segmenting Early Embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos
Kurt J. Warnhoff* and Alexandra J. Wehrman
Dr. Timothy D. Walston and Dr. Scott Thatcher, Faculty Mentors

An understanding of the forces acting on cells in the early embryo can provide important information for how cells interact to determine their shapes, movements, and fates. Early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos provide an excellent environment to explore the forces acting during embryogenesis and to develop techniques and models that can be applied later to more advanced biological events. We report the continued development of a four-dimensional GGH (Glazier-Granier-Hogeweg) model to simulate the four-cell stage of embryogenesis. Additionally, a semi-automated procedure for the segmentation of four-dimensional differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopic data has been developed. A precise and accurate segmentation scheme offers many opportunities for the quantitative analysis of early embryogenesis. Our segmentation technique incorporates a combination of level set and watershed methods to properly delineate cells and cellular components of the embryo in DIC micrographs. Properly segmented data serves to calibrate and validate the existing GGH model.

Keywords: Developmental Biology, Mathematical Biology, Modeling Biological Systems, Caenorhabditis elegans

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 55-1
Location: VH 1328
Time: 2:45

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