Embryonic Inversion in Volvox carteri: The Flipping and Peeling of Elastic Lips.
The embryos of the green alga Volvox carteri are spherical sheets of cells that turn themselves inside out at the close of their development through a programme of cell shape changes. This process of inversion is a model for morphogenetic cell sheet deformations; it starts with four lips opening up at the anterior pole of the cell sheet, flipping over and peeling back to invert the embryo. Experimental studies have revealed that inversion is arrested if some of these cell shape changes are inhibited, but the mechanical basis for these observations has remained unclear. Here, we analyse the mechanics of this inversion by deriving an averaged elastic theory for these lips and we interpret the experimental observations in terms of the mechanics and evolution of inversion.
Wellcome Trust (207510/Z/17/Z)