A modeling study on how cell division affects properties of epithelial tissues under isotropic growth.
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Cell proliferation affects both cellular geometry and topology in a growing tissue, and hence rules for cell division are key to understanding multicellular development. Epithelial cell layers have for long times been used to investigate how cell proliferation leads to tissue-scale properties, including organism-independent distributions of cell areas and number of neighbors. We use a cell-based two-dimensional tissue growth model including mechanics to investigate how different cell division rules result in different statistical properties of the cells at the tissue level. We focus on isotropic growth and division rules suggested for plant cells, and compare the models with data from the Arabidopsis shoot. We find that several division rules can lead to the correct distribution of number of neighbors, as seen in recent studies. In addition we find that when also geometrical properties are taken into account other constraints on the cell division rules result. We find that division rules acting in favor of equally sized and symmetrically shaped daughter cells can best describe the statistical tissue properties.