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Talk- Maxim Lavrentovich (Guest speaker)

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  • cmb seminar
When May 21, 2018
from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Title: Biological pattern formation on spherical surfaces

Abstract: Biological materials such as pollen grain surfaces, insect carapaces and eggs, and fungal spores exhibit diverse, detailed surface patterning. We study the development of such patterns,  focusing on pollen grains in particular. We find that the patterning can be thought of as a phase transition to a spatially modulated state, which allows us to view the development and evolution of such patterns in a different, physically-motivated way. We argue that pollen grains (and likely other biological objects) achieve their patterns via a phase separation of a soft substance on the cell surface, which induces a buckling of the cell membrane. Using analytic techniques, we calculate the phase diagram of these patterns. The results of our calculation are in excellent agreement with the spectrum of observed pollen patterns. In addition, we consider the evolution of pollen patterns and show that selection does not seem to favor patterned over unpatterned pollen.

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