2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Using a Glazier-Graner-Hogeweg Approach to Model the Four-Cell Stage Embryo in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Bryce E. Frazier* and Andrew K. Gibson
Dr. Scott Thatcher and Dr. Timothy D. Walston, Faculty Mentors

Caenorhabditis elegans is a non-parasitic roundworm with an uncomplicated body design, short life cycle, and a small number of cells that make it a model organism for embryology. In this study, we are building upon an existing Glazier-Granier-Hogeweg (GGH) model of the four-cell embryo of C. elegans. The GGH model offers a flexible and easy approach for modeling cellular dynamics. Our model includes cell surface area, cell volume, and cell adhesion in order to replicate the forces influencing cell movement within the embryo. Initial and target values for these parameters were obtained from videos of embryogenesis. The model aims to reproduce cell shape in the four-cell embryo by using a Genetic Algorithm that searches for optimal parameter values. By accurately modeling the four-cell embryo, our understanding of mutations that affect cell shape and movement could be enhanced. We hope to expand the model to include centrosome movement and cell division.

Keywords: embryonic development, Glazier-Granier-Hogeweg model, confocal microscopy

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology
Computer Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-2
Location: GEO
Time: 3:30

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