SKM 2023 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 12: Biopolymers and Biomaterials (joint session BP/CPP)

BP 12.10: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 29. März 2023, 12:15–12:30, TOE 317

Branching morphogenesis in the silica cell wall of diatoms — •Iaroslav Babenko1,2,3, Benjamin M. Friedrich1,2, and Nils Kröger1,31Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life, TU Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany. — 2Center of Advancing Electronics Dresden, TU Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany. — 3Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

Diatoms live in a glass house: these common single-celled algae fascinated evolutionary biologists, chemical engineers and inspired artists for their ability to produce intricately nano- and micropatterned silica schells. The valve of the cell wall is formed in a planar intracellular compartment termed silica deposition vesicles (SDVs). The physical mechanism that guides the self-assembly of species-specific silica patterns is unknown. Here, we address this question by studying the formation of the silica rib patterns in the cell wall of the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana by combining theory and electron microscopy of nascent silica valves. We propose a minimal model of branching morphogenesis based on a non classical Turing reaction-diffusion system to quantitatively account for the time course of experimentally observed rib patterns. We introduce a novel mechanism of branching morphogenesis, which relies on a transition from soluble to insoluble silica phases inside the SDV and the concurrent release of an inhibitor that hinders this transition. Moreover, our minimal model is capable of producing a wide range of rib patterns, suggesting that this model may be applicable for describing branching morphogenesis in other diatom species and potentially, in other organisms.

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