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Development process
Morphogenesis of the individual organs / tissues
Branching of shoots / roots
Gene Ontology

The morphogenesis ( Greek μορφογενετική, "origin of the form", see also -genesis ) describes the development of organisms , organs and organelles as well as other structures and characteristics in the course of the ontogeny of living beings , including humans , animals , plants , prokaryotes and viruses .

D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson with his book "On Growth and Form" published in 1917 is considered a pioneer of mathematical-quantitative analyzes on the occasion of the morphogenesis of animal organisms . He showed that many body shapes can be explained as changes in the shape of a coordinate network, which is placed over the organism, and that quite simple growth allometries are often effective in explaining the transition from one shape to another. Nowadays, these can be interpreted as expressions of developmental genes of different strengths along a gradient and, if necessary, examined more closely.

Further theoretical aspects of morphogenesis and especially of pattern formation can be described mathematically with the help of Alan Turing's reaction diffusion equation, see Turing mechanism .

As special developmental stages of the morphogenesis of humans in the prenatal state one can differentiate between

  • of embryogenesis , the differentiation of the structures of the egg during the development of the embryo , and
  • the Fetogenese that the formation of organs and other features in the fetus describes (Human: from the 85th day of pregnancy).

Web links

Commons : Morphogenesis  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Alan Turing: The chemical basis of morphogenesis. (PDF; 1.2 MB). In: Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London. B 237, 1952, pp. 37-72. Original article.

further reading

  • On growth and form. 1917, ISBN 0-486-67135-6 . German: About growth and form . Newly edited in abridged version. by John Tyler Bonner. Translated by Ella M. Fountain and Magdalena Neff. With a foreword by Adolf Portmann . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-518-28010-4 .