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International Conference on Mathematical Biology and

Annual Meeting of The Society for Mathematical Biology,

July 27-30, 2009

University of British Columbia, Vancouver



Plenary 78:15 am - 9:00 am, July 30
Veronica Grieneisen
Bioinformatics group, Utrecht University
Title A Reflux Loop Between Experiments and Modelling: Plant Development, Morphogen Gradients and Cell Polarity
Abstract During this talk I will illustrate the strength of connecting modelling concepts to novel experiments in the field of Plant Development, emphasising how both can and should develop side-by-side. I will show how such an alliance has been important to shed light on problems of (i) Morphogen gradients, through the example of Arabidopsis root growth; (ii) Patterning of new organs, through the example of rhyzotaxy; and (iii) Cell Polarity, through the example of pavement cells -- jigsaw-shaped cells of leaves. We use multi-level modelling, which combines processes occurring at different space and time scales, and apply obtained modelling concepts to instruct and design experiments. I will illustrate that the three topics are actually connected: we found that macroscopic organ properties (the Arabidopsis root), cellular geometries, internal gradients and cell-polarity dynamics are intimately intertwined, and only together can account for plant morphogenesis on the correct spatial and temporal time scales. All these studies yield generalising concepts that I will discuss in the light of animal systems as well.
ChairGeoffrey Wasteneys
LocationWoodward 2