Tissue folding is a fundamental process that shapes epithelia into complex 3D organs. The initial positioning of folds is the foundation for the emergence of correct tissue morphology. Mechanisms forming individual folds have been studied, but the precise positioning of folds in complex, multi-folded epithelia is less well-understood. We present a computational model of morphogenesis, encompassing local differential growth and tissue mechanics, to investigate tissue fold positioning. We use the Drosophila wing disc as our model system and show that there is spatial-temporal heterogeneity in its planar growth rates. This differential growth, especially at the early stages of development, is the main driver for fold positioning. Increased apical layer stiffness and confinement by the basement membrane drive fold formation but influence positioning to a lesser degree. The model successfully predicts the in vivo morphology of overgrowth clones and wingless mutants via perturbations solely on planar differential growth in silico.

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Published on 01/01/2019

DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.09.009
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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