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Morphogen gradients are well known to play several important roles in development; however the mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of these gradients are often not well understood. In this work, we investigate whether the presence of a secondary morphogen can increase the robustness of the primary morphogen gradient to perturbation, thereby providing a more stable mechanism for development. We base our model around the interactions of Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 and retinoic acid, which have been shown to act as morphogens in many developmental systems. In particular, we investigate the formation of opposing gradients of these morphogens along the antero-posterior axis of vertebrate embryos, thereby controlling temporal and spatial aspects of axis segmentation and neuronal differentiation.

Original publication




Journal article


Math Biosci

Publication Date





30 - 50


Animals, Embryonic Development, Fibroblast Growth Factor 8, Models, Biological, Morphogenesis, Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted, Tretinoin, Vertebrates