Abstract

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a
modeling organism in biomedical research for several decades. Its
hermaphrodite germ line encompasses key developmental concepts like stem
cell differentiation and apoptosis; therefore it provides a good model system for
these basic concepts. Here, we have extended and refined our previous
computational model, which encompasses developmental landmarks and the
resulting movement of germ cells along the gonadal tube. We have used the
molecular dynamics (MD) framework to model the physical movement of cells
due to the force arising from cell divisions. The model simulation was
calibrated with experimental time and it is in accordance with experimental
observations. In addition, the model provides means for testing hypotheses
regarding the behaviour of mutated germ lines and the potential mechanisms
causing physiological apoptosis, which are difficult to assess experimentally.