In this presentation we would like to give an example of coupling a model of
a gene regulatory network and a biomechanical representation of morphogenesis.
We use the embryogenesis of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis as a case
study. In this example we couple the model of gene regulation to a cell-based
model of embryogenesis. In this case study we are collecting recently
published spatio-temporal and quantitative gene expression patterns from
various developmental stages in Nematostella in a spatial data base
("the virtual embryo").
We use this three-dimensional data for constructing a mathematical model of
the regulatory network and for inferring regulatory network parameters.
The regulatory network is modelled using a set of coupled reaction-diffusion
equations, while the model parameters are inferred from the data base using
optimization techniques. Finally the aim is to couple the regulatory network
model to a biomechanical model of cell movement and cell division.