The Sensitivity of Turing's Pattern Formation Mechanism
The prospect of long range signalling by diffusible morphogens initiating large scale pattern formation has been contemplated since the initial work of Turing in the 1950s and has been explored theoretically and experimentally in numerous developmental settings. However, Turing’s pattern formation mechanism is notorious for its sensitivity to the details of the initial conditions suggesting that, in isolation, it cannot robustly generate pattern within noisy biological environments. Aspects of developmental self-organisation, in particular a growing domain, have been suggested as a mechanism for robustly inducing a sequential cascade of self-organisation, thus circumventing the difficulties of sensitivity. However the sensitivity question emerges once more for generalisations of Turing's model which include further biological aspects, for example, the inclusion of gene expression dynamics: this will be explored in detail.