06/03/2020 – K. Alim – Fluid flows organising morphology

Séminaire IUSTI – 6 mars 2020 – 11h salle 250

Fluid flows organising morphology

Karen Alim – Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Allemagne

Fluid flows can propagate information on large scales – an essential feature during the development of an organism. What are the principal mechanisms of how fluid flows induce, transmit and respond to biological signals and thus control morphology? The role of fluid flows is particularly prominent during the adaptation of transport networks. Here, the network-forming slime mould Physarum polycephalum emerged as a model. Investigating the pivotal role of fluid flows in this live transport network we find that flows are patterned in a peristaltic wave thereby optimising transport. In fact, flows are hijacked by signals to propagate throughout the network promoting their own transport by invoking a propagating front of increased flow. This simple feedback of flows on morphology is sufficient to explain complex dynamics of the living network like finding the shortest path through a maze.