Multiscale modelling of root gravitropism


John Fozard is a mathematical modeler working on lateral root development in Malcolm Bennett’s group at CPIB in Nottingham.

Speaker: John Fozard

Date and place: 28/11/2013 at 13:30 in room 227 of Galera building

Abstract: Manipulating root architecture is important for the development of new crops that can better cope with changes in climate and extract nutrients from the soil more efficiently. Gravitropism plays a key role in controlling the direction of root growth, and a better understanding of this process may indicate ways to breed crops with optimised root systems.
We develop a multicellular, multiscale computational model  that incorporates both auxin transport and a mechanical model for the elongation of different cells. Using a nonlinear viscous constitutive law that representscell wall yielding, we examine two dimensional simulations of axially elongating plant tissues, and show that differences in mechanical properties can lead to organ-scale bending. Roots contain many cells, so to efficiently stimulate their growth we describe a hybrid vertex midline model which uses suitably averaged constitutive laws for to govern the evolution of the root midline, but treats cells as individuals for the purposes of auxin transport and transcriptional responses. This model is used to simulate gravitropic responses in roots.

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