Epithelial morphogenesis, tubulogenesis and forces in organogenesis

Daniel D. Shaye, Martha C. Soto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As multi-cellular organisms evolved from small clusters of cells to complex metazoans, biological tubes became essential for life. Tubes are typically thought of as mainly playing a role in transport, with the hollow space (lumen) acting as a conduit to distribute nutrients and waste, or for gas exchange. However, biological tubes also provide a platform for physiological, mechanical, and structural functions. Indeed, tubulogenesis is often a critical aspect of morphogenesis and organogenesis. C. elegans is made up of tubes that provide structural support and protection (the epidermis), perform the mechanical and enzymatic processes of digestion (the buccal cavity, pharynx, intestine, and rectum), transport fluids for osmoregulation (the excretory system), and execute the functions necessary for reproduction (the germline, spermatheca, uterus and vulva). Here we review our current understanding of the genetic regulation, molecular processes, and physical forces involved in tubulogenesis and morphogenesis of the epidermal, digestive and excretory systems in C. elegans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Actin
  • Compaction
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Epithelia
  • Fusion
  • Intercalation
  • Microtubules
  • Morphogenesis
  • Myosin
  • Outgrowth
  • Tubulogenesis
  • aECM


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