Reaction-diffusion model as a framework for understanding biological pattern formation

Shigeru Kondo, Takashi Miura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1144 Citations (Scopus)


The Turing, or reaction-diffusion (RD), model is one of the best-known theoretical models used to explain self-regulated pattern formation in the developing animal embryo. Although its real-world relevance was long debated, a number of compelling examples have gradually alleviated much of the skepticism surrounding the model. The RD model can generate a wide variety of spatial patterns, and mathematical studies have revealed the kinds of interactions required for each, giving this model the potential for application as an experimental working hypothesis in a wide variety of morphological phenomena. In this review, we describe the essence of this theory for experimental biologists unfamiliar with the model, using examples from experimental studies in which the RD model is effectively incorporated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1620
Number of pages5
Issue number5999
Publication statusPublished - Sept 24 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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