It is now well recognized that genetic control of morphogenesis is intimately associated with biophysical and biomechanical processes to specify final shape and architecture of an organ and/or an entire organism. The regulated gene expression determines the chemical environment of cells and tissues and thereby regulates biophysical processes. In turn, changes in physical forces feedback to regulate gene function and cell fate.
Advancing our knowledge in the physical aspects of development will thus provide a broader view on how the genome of multicellular organisms functions in association with physical forces to specify the final shape and architecture of an organ and/or an entire organism. Furthermore, morphogenesis occurs through the interaction between multiple tissue layers and the traditional cell culture models may not be the best approach to addressing the contribution of mechanical forces in directing embryonic development.
Consequently, to better understand the role of the physical and mechanical forces exerted during development, the DBSV Branch issued two Program Announcements with special Review (PARs) with a major focus on projects studying the biomechanics of morphogenesis in vivo. Those PARs include: