Bajard, L., Morelli, L.G., Ares, S., Pécréaux, J., Jülicher, F., Oates, A.C. (2014) Wnt-regulated dynamics of positional information in zebrafish somitogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England). 141:1381-91.
How signaling gradients supply positional information in a field of moving cells is an unsolved question in patterning and morphogenesis. Here, we ask how a Wnt signaling gradient regulates the dynamics of a wavefront of cellular change in a flow of cells during somitogenesis. Using time-controlled perturbations of Wnt signaling in the zebrafish embryo, we changed segment length without altering the rate of somite formation or embryonic elongation. This result implies specific Wnt regulation of the wavefront velocity. The observed Wnt signaling gradient dynamics and timing of downstream events support a model for wavefront regulation in which cell flow plays a dominant role in transporting positional information.