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Abstract

The development of an embryo from a fertilised egg to a multicellular organism proceeds through numerous steps, with the formation of the three germ layers (endoderm, mesoderm, ectoderm) being one of the first. In this paper we study the mesendoderm (the tissue that collectively gives rise to both mesoderm and endoderm) gene regulatory network for two species, \textit{Xenopus laevis} and the axolotl (\textit{Ambystoma mexicanum}) using Boolean networks. We find that previously-established bistability found in these networks can be reproduced using this Boolean framework, provided that some assumptions used in previously-published differential equations models are relaxed. We conclude by discussing our findings in relation to previous work modeling gene regulatory networks with Boolean network models.