Research Team

Dynamic regulation of body axis Morphogenesis

HomeTeamsDynamic regulation of body axis Morphogenesis

Our primary interest is to understand the role of Environmental Cues in Axis Morphogenesis.

To this end, we use cutting-edge technologies to study axis dynamics from the tissue to the transcriptional levels through a newly discovered cell type, the NMPs.







We use the chicken as a model for studying axis morphogenesis. While birds look quite different from humans, early developmental stages are very similar (right picture)

Our ability to manipulate and challenge the embryo directly in the egg during axis development allows us to pose relevant questions to understand human congenital malformations linked to axial development. We employ cutting-edge techniques of live imaging, lineage tracing, quantitative analysis, and single-cell RNA sequencing to uncover how NMP for the body of vertebrates.




We identified the NeuroMesodermal Progenitors (NMP) in the chick model as a population of cells in the Anterior Primitive Streak (PS) that become the main progenitors in the tailed (Tb) to form the body axis (Left)



Once in the tailed, the bipotent NMP gives rise to cells in Bothe the Neural Tube (NT) & preSomitic Mesoderm (PSM) that are the embryonic precursors of the Spinal Cord & Musculoskeletal tissue, respectively. (Right)

Current Projects : Role of Environmental cues in …


… the fate and lineage of NMPs




Using individual NMP color labeling, we can study the fate and lineage of the NMPs in vivo.

NT: Neural Tube, S: Somite, HL: HindLimb.






… the dynamics of NMPs

NMPs morph into the tailed to become the main progenitors of the body axis through peculiar cell dynamics i.e. low ingression, low convergence and high cell division.


… the cellular states forming the body axis


Single-cell analysis of the cells forming the posterior body identifies the NMP and their contribution to both the Neural and Mesodermal lineages in chick and mouse models.



YES!!! We Speak English in the lab (and a little bit of French)


We seek to provide an inclusive lab environment with lambastes from diverse backgrounds and experiences.


Past Lab Members


Pauline DUMONT – Graduate student – Master BIP/UCA (2022)

Adrien CHARTROULE – Undergraduate student – DUT/UCA (2022)

Sophie PHAN – Undergraduate student – L3 Life Sciences Bachelor/UCA (2022)

Emma DE CARVALHO – Undergraduate student – BTS/ (2022)

Elina Benoit – Graduate student – Master BIP/UCA (2023)



5 publications

Mechanics of Anteroposterior Axis Formation in Vertebrates

Published on 14 Aug 2019 in Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol - pp 259–283

Alessandro Mongera , Michaut Arthur, Guillot Charlene, Xiong Fengzhu, and Pourquié Olivier

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