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Summary: This Editorial introduces the special issue – providing a perspective on the influence of D'Arcy Thompson's work and an overview of the articles in this issue.


Summary: Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee, discusses the legacy of On Growth and Form and the life of its author D'Arcy Thompson.


Summary: This Review uses planar growth in plants as an example to illustrate how D'Arcy Thompson's century-old insights into growth and form can be integrated with our modern understanding of genes and development.

Summary: This Review explores how modeling-based approaches can aid our understanding of developmental processes such as molecular patterning and tissue morphogenesis, highlighting their advantages and limitations, and their crucial role in future research.

Summary: This Review considers how Thompson's sometimes oversimplified explanations of the geometries and tensions underlying cell and tissue packing have informed modern cell-level physics but also should be viewed with due scrutiny.

Summary: This Review considers how tissue growth can be influenced by mechanical inputs and feedback, using the Drosophila wing disc as an example and focussing on the Hippo pathway as a key integrator of mechanical and biochemical signals.

Summary: This Review emphasizes the role of the actomyosin meshwork in determining the forces that operate within and between cells and their environment to shape and organize cells and tissues.

Summary: This Review summarizes recent advances in stem cell culture methods, materials and biophysical tools, which reveal how various active and passive physical cues can influence cell behavior and regulate stem cell fate.

Summary: This Review summarizes how muscle-induced mechanical forces influence the morphogenesis and biomechanical integrity of tendon, joint, bone and muscle, and their integration into a functional unit.

Summary: This Review discusses how unexpected and exceptional evolutionary diversity in form and function may reflect a combination of Thompson's intrinsic ‘laws of growth' and the extrinsic influences of Darwinian natural selection.


Summary: A high-throughput in vitro system allowing the induction of peri-gastrulation-like fates in geometrically confined hPSC colonies reveals that a two-step process underlies the observed self-organization and subsequent fate acquisition.


Summary: Stiffening accompanies reprogramming of murine fetal neural progenitor cells towards pluripotency and is reversed in neural differentiation of pluripotent cells.


Summary: Blood flow modeling shows that dynamic shear stress patterns, rather than mean flow direction, predict the stereotypical behavior of endocardial cells during the early steps of heart valve formation.

Summary: Microfluidics, time-lapse imaging and RNA-Seq reveal that the relative pressure within the lumen of the developing mouse lung controls the rate of branching morphogenesis, smooth muscle contraction and developmental maturation.


Summary: In C. elegans, embryonic apical extracellular matrix acts as a protective layer, a rigid anchor for muscle function and transmit actomyosin forces to promote embryonic elongation.

Summary: Basement membrane fibril composition and stiffness vary temporally and spatially during Drosophila ovarian follicle development, influencing follicle rotation, egg elongation and cuboidal-to-squamous cellular transition dependent on TGFβ signalling.

Summary: This study highlights the functional consequences of uncoupling mechanical forces between cells undergoing collective cell movements. These connections are crucial to the assembly and shaping of mesendoderm at gastrulation.

Summary: Ureteric tree branch patterning is modelled in wild-type and mutant mice using novel tip state models, demonstrating that it occurs via a previously unrecognized but highly reproducible pattern of branching.

Summary: Development of the Arabidopsis leaf epidermis topology is driven by deceptively simple rules of cell division, independent of surface tension, cell size and, often complex, cell shape.

Summary: Growth analyses of Arabidopsis sepals identify a tipping point in organ development, at which clones of cells change their growth pattern from size uniformization to size variability enhancement.

Summary: Identification of a requirement for 20-hydroxyecdysone in tissue patterning leads to the discovery that dynamic cell rearrangements and shape changes contribute to oriented tissue growth in the Drosophila wing disc.

Summary: A mathematical model for the growth of a soft, fluid-permeable, spherical shell is compared with experimental observations of oscillations in synthetic cysts, demonstrating how hydraulics can regulate growing tissue shells.

Summary: Analysis of divergence angles in VIP mutants reveals that the regularity of organ initiation at the shoot apical meristem requires Paf1c and is related to spatial patterns of auxin activity.

Summary: The cell arrangement pattern at the four-cell stage in nematode embryos is both diverse and robust. A numerical model that incorporates attractive, as well as repulsive, forces was constructed to explain this diversity and robustness.

Summary: Dorsal, a transcription factor that patterns the Drosophila dorsal-ventral axis, accumulates at the embryo ventral midline. Here, model-guided experiments show that the inhibitor Cactus shuttles Dorsal to the ventral side.


Summary: A combination of time-lapse imaging and image analysis techniques allows visualization and quantification of the complex choreography and sliding behaviors of embryonic tissues during quail body axis elongation.

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