EPSRC Network on Evolvability in Biology & Software Systems

Evolvability, Genetics & Development in Natural and Constructed Systems: Abstracts of the EPSRC Evolvability Network Symposium

Tewin Bury Farm Hotel, Hertfordshire, England, UK
26-28 August 2003

University of Hertfordshire Computer Science Technical Report 389
C. L. Nehaniv, P. J. Bentley & S. Kumar (Editors)

Evolution of Morphogenesis: Processes

Evolution of Morphogenesis: The Interface between Generic and Informatic Processes


Theoretical Biology / Bioinformatics Group
Utrecht University
Padualaan 8
3584 CH Utrecht
The Netherlands


A hallmark of biotic systems is the occurrence of interactions between processes at different space and time scales. I will discuss models that try to capture this property of biotic systems and explore its consequences. I will focus on morphogenesis, examining models that explore the interface between mechanical interactions between cells and informatic processes on the time scales of gene regulation and evolution. I analyze the model behavior in terms of mechanisms of morphogenesis, cell differentiation, and evolutionary dynamics. I will show that inheritance of phenotype is not automatic, even in non-varying environment. However, during evolution the inheritance of phenotype, and thus the primacy of inherited information, will increase. Special emphasis will be on cell polarity and the resulting cell movement and tissue development.