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Bifurcations of nonlinear reaction-diffusion systems in oblate spheroids

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Spontaneous pattern formation may arise in biological systems as primary and secondary bifurcations to nonlinear parabolic partial differential equations describing chemical reaction-diffusion systems. Bipolarity in mitosis and cleavage planes in cytokinesis may be related to this formation of prepatterns. Three dimensional prepatterns are investigated, as they emerge in flattened spheres (i.e. oblate spheroids). Pattern sequences and selection rules are established numerically. The results confirm previously recorded results of the spherical and prolate regions, upon which a prepattern theory of mitosis and cytokinesis is based. Especially, the phenomenon of 90 degree axis tilting and the formation of a highly symmetrical saddle shaped pattern, crucial for the prepattern theory of mitosis and cytokinesis, is examined. Present results show, that these phenomena are stabilized in oblate spheroids. The bipolar “mitosis” prepattern is found as well, although the polar axis may appear with an angle toward the axis of the oblate spheroid. These results are thus further support for the prepattern theory of mitosis and cytokinesis.

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Hunding, A. Bifurcations of nonlinear reaction-diffusion systems in oblate spheroids. J. Math. Biology 19, 249–263 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00277098

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Key words

  • Mitosis
  • prepatterns
  • morphogenesis