Directionality of stripes formed by anisotropic reaction-diffusion models

Hiroto Shoji, Yoh Iwasa, Atushi Mochizuki, Shigeru Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Turing mechanism explains the formation of striped patterns in a uniform field in which two substances interact locally and diffuse randomly. In a twin paper, to explain the directionality of stripes on fish skin in closely related species, we studied the effect of anisotropic diffusion of the two substances on the direction of stripes, in the cases in which both substances have high diffusivity in the same direction. In this paper, we study the direction of stripes in more general situations in which the diffusive direction may differ between the two substances. We derive a formula for the direction of stripes, based on a heuristic argument of unstable modes of deviation from the uniform steady state. We confirm the accuracy of the formula by computer simulations. When the diffusive direction is different between two substances, the directions of stripes in the spatial pattern change smoothly with the magnitude of anisotropy of two substances. When the diffusive direction of the two substances is the same, the stripes are formed either parallel or perpendicular to the common diffusive direction, depending on the relative magnitude of the anisotropy. The transition between these two phases occurs sharply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-561
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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