Morphogen gradient interpretation

Nature. 2001 Oct 25;413(6858):797-803. doi: 10.1038/35101500.


A morphogen gradient is an important concept in developmental biology, because it describes a mechanism by which the emission of a signal from one part of an embryo can determine the location, differentiation and fate of many surrounding cells. The value of this idea has been clear for over half a century, but only recently have experimental systems and methods of analysis progressed to the point where we begin to understand how a cell can sense and respond to tiny changes in minute concentrations of extracellular signalling factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Chemotactic Factors / physiology
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Wings, Animal / embryology


  • Chemotactic Factors