We are happy to share the first paper of the lab! Congratulations to Dani. It was a challenging year to complete all the experiments.
In this study we looked the impact on early development by the dynamics of tension from the yolk membrane (the vitelline membrane). We found that the membrane must reduce its tension and stiffness for normal body axis formation to work. Maintaining high tension using mechanical perturbations causes body elongation and neural tube defects. We found that the membrane weakening is controlled by chemical changes of the egg. The increase of pH of the albumen (egg white) causes structural changes of the vitelline membrane and reduces its mechanical strength. Our work shows that the extraembryonic environment provides important mechanical input for the embryo and could underlie certain developmental defects.
Find out more at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.24.432525v1