The complexity of patterning during organ-wide stem cell migration and differentiation can be challenging to interpret quantitatively. Here, we track neural crest (NC) and ectodermal placode-derived progenitor movements in vivo, for hundreds of cells, implement unbiased algorithmic approaches to extract biologically meaningful information, and discover cell-cell and lineage-lineage coordination between progenitors that form olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) during zebrafish embryogenesis. Our approach discriminates between NC- and placode-derived contributions and segregates ingressing NC cells into two previously unidentified subtypes termed 'trend' and 'dispersed' lineages. Our analyses indicate that NC and placodal progenitor migration and intercalation are coordinated by at least two types of collective behavior: spatiotemporal exclusion and elastic tethering, akin to a push-pull mechanism. A stochastic equilibrium model accurately represents the interactions of NC and placode-derived lineages. Our approach provides insights into the coordination of dual-origin lineages during vertebrate olfactory neurogenesis and offers an algorithmic toolkit for probing multicellular coordination in vivo.
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