“A mechanism for the proliferative control of tissue mechanics in the absence of growth”
During the development of a multicellular organism, cells coordinate their activities to generate mechanical forces, which in turn drive tissue deformation and eventually define the shape of the adult tissue. Broadly speaking, it is recognized that mechanical forces can be generated through differential growth and the activity of the cytoskeleton. Based on quantitative analyses of live imaging of the Drosophila dorsal thorax we suggest a novel mechanism that can generate contractile forces within the plane of an epithelia - via cell proliferation in the absence of growth. Utilizing force inference techniques and vertex model simulations of two-dimensional dividing cellular arrays, we demonstrate how proliferation in the absence of growth patterns stress and induce size and shape changes through the insertion of new junctions. Our results provide an alternative target of regulation in the size-and-shape control for multicellular organism during development.