Pattern formation

Pattern formation is the developmental process by which cells acquire different identities, depending on their relative spatial positions within the embryo. Pattern formation ensures that tissues and organs develop in the correct place and orientation within the body.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Intestinal organoids have been used to model development of the crypt–villus axis and uncover signalling pathways that govern the stem-cell niche and induce differentiation. Two studies now take advantage of intestinal organoids to measure the mechanical forces that drive morphogenesis of the crypt and fate specification of its resident cells.

    • Celeste M. Nelson
    Nature Cell Biology 23, 678-679
  • Comments & Opinion
    | Open Access

    Hox genes are known to regulate head-tail axis patterning but their molecular role in animals diverged from the bilaterian lineage is unclear. Here, Fabian Rentzsch and Thomas W. Holstein comment on a paper by Mark Martindale and colleagues on the functional role of two Hox genes in axial patterning of the sea anemone.

    • Fabian Rentzsch
    •  & Thomas W. Holstein
  • News & Views |

    Work from the early 1980s reported strange lobes protruding from Caenorhabditis elegans germ cell precursors. However, the fate and potential significance of these lobes remained unexplored for decades. Now, neighbouring endodermal cells are shown to sever and digest these lobes, in an unexpected process of 'intercellular cannibalism', which could play an important part in regulating primordial germ cells.

    • Jennifer K. Heppert
    •  & Bob Goldstein
    Nature Cell Biology 18, 1267-1268