Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

Systems biology of embryogenesis

Lucas B. Edelman A B E , Sriram Chandrasekaran A C and Nathan D. Price A C D F

A Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

B Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

C Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

D Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

E Present address: The Babraham Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3AT, UK.

F Corresponding author. Email:

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 98-105
Published: 8 December 2009


The development of a complete organism from a single cell involves extraordinarily complex orchestration of biological processes that vary intricately across space and time. Systems biology seeks to describe how all elements of a biological system interact in order to understand, model and ultimately predict aspects of emergent biological processes. Embryogenesis represents an extraordinary opportunity (and challenge) for the application of systems biology. Systems approaches have already been used successfully to study various aspects of development, from complex intracellular networks to four-dimensional models of organogenesis. Going forward, great advancements and discoveries can be expected from systems approaches applied to embryogenesis and developmental biology.

Additional keywords: complex adaptive systems, computational models, development, organogenesis, regulatory networks.


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