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CollectiveDynamics SIGNED

Collective signaling oscillations in embryonic patterning – revealing underlying principles

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CollectiveDynamics project word cloud

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time    palmeirim    conceptually    position    model    mouse    vivo    entrainment    notch    1997    axis    synchronization    expand    periodic    functional    mesoderm    central    quantitative    oscillatory    2018    periodically    oscillations    embryonic    decode    embryo    fish    emergence    vitro    experimental    patterns    hours    assays    presomitic    al    made    combine    vertebrate    emergent    waves    phenomenon    principles    wnt    clock    tsiairis    medaka    wave    dynamics    segmentation    et    builds    discovery    cells    critical    timing    perturbations    sweep    display    sonnen    psm    optogenetics    proper    erc    questions    relative    entrain    previously    line    machinery    collective    molecular    first    discoveries    versatile    period    fgf    ways    strategy    precise    yield    embryos    signaling    underlying    patterning    significance    expertise    genetic    signalling    oscillation       governed    aulehla    outlined    linked    2016    fundamental    shown   

Project "CollectiveDynamics" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Meyerhofstrasse 1
postcode: 69117

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙153˙310 €
 EC max contribution 2˙153˙310 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-09-01   to  2025-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

In this proposal, we study collective signaling oscillations during embryonic patterning. Signaling oscillations during vertebrate embryo segmentation are governed by a molecular oscillatory machinery referred to as segmentation clock (Palmeirim et al., 1997). The segmentation clock is linked to periodic activity of the Notch, Wnt and Fgf pathway in presomitic mesoderm (PSM) cells (period~2 hours in mouse embryos). Importantly, PSM cells display complex, collective synchronization and, as a result, wave-like activity patterns (phase waves) sweep periodically along the embryonic axis. We have previously shown that phase waves are an emergent and collective phenomenon in PSM cells (Tsiairis and Aulehla, 2016). Conceptually, this proposal builds on our previous discovery that the relative timing between Wnt/Notch oscillations is critical for proper mesoderm patterning (Sonnen et al., 2018). What are the principles underlying the emergence of collective synchronization and how do PSM cells decode relative timing of signalling oscillations? As outlined in this proposal, we are now in a unique position to address these fundamental questions in novel ways. Importantly, we have established an entrainment strategy that enables, for the first time, precise experimental control of oscillation dynamics (Sonnen et al., 2018). Our strategy is to further expand the entrainment approach, including the future use of optogenetics, and also combine it with our expertise in quantitative, multi-scale analysis of signalling dynamics and functional, genetic perturbations. A central aim of this ERC proposal is to build on discoveries made in versatile in vitro assays that we developed and to address their significance in vivo. To this end, we propose a novel line of research using the medaka fish model. We will entrain and challenge collective synchronization in vivo to address how signalling oscillations are integrated with growth dynamics to yield robust embryonic patterning.

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