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Canalized Morphogenesis Driven by Inherited Tissue Asymmetries in Hydra Regeneration
Lital Shani-Zerbib, Garion Liora, Yonit Maroudas-Sacks, Erez Braun, Kinneret Keren
Hydra regeneration, body axis polarity, morphogenesis, supracellular actin fibers, topological defects
The emergence and stabilization of a body axis is a major step in animal morphogenesis, determining the symmetry of the body plan as well as its polarity. To advance our understanding of the emergence of body axis polarity, we study regenerating Hydra. Axis polarity is strongly memorized in Hydra regeneration even in small tissue segments. What type of processes confer this memory? To gain insight into the emerging polarity, we utilize frustrating initial conditions by studying regenerating tissue strips which fold into hollow spheroids by adhering their distal ends of opposite original polarities. Despite the convoluted folding process and the tissue rearrangements during regeneration, these tissue strips develop in a reproducible manner, preserving the original polarity and yielding an ordered body plan. These observations suggest that the integration of mechanical and biochemical processes supported by their mutual feedback attracts the tissue dynamics towards a well-defined developmental trajectory biased by weak inherited cues from the parent animal. Hydra thus provide an example of dynamic canalization in which the dynamic rules are instilled, but, in contrast to the classical picture, the detailed developmental trajectory does not unfold in a programmatic manner.