Navigation Links
Pleasing plant shapes explained by new computer model

Flowers are innately beautiful to the human eye, but how does a sunflower achieve its stunning disc of intersecting spirals or a daisy its delicate symmetry?

That was the question tackled by University of Calgary computer scientists, who have answered one of biology's enduring questions with an animated model that provides the most detailed simulation of how plants grow into recognizable shapes.

In the article "A plausible model of phyllotaxis" published in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Calgary PhD student Richard Smith and Computer Science professor Dr. Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz, together with their collaborators from the Institute of Plant Science in Berne, Switzerland (Soazig Guyomarc'h, Therese Mandel, Didier Reinhardt, and professor Cris Kuhlemeier), present the first model to show how plants achieve phyllotaxis ?the unique arrangement of lateral organs around a central axis that results in the spiral patterns seen in most plants ?beginning at the molecular-level.

"Biologists have many theories about why phyllotaxis exists but have always wondered how it happens," said Smith. "This model is exciting because it proposes a mechanism that works and can be used to try and prove some of the biological theories about the growth process."

Smith and Prusinkiewicz worked with the botanists in Switzerland to create a three-dimensional simulation of plant growth at the microscopic scale, simulating cell division and showing how concentrations of the fundamental plant growth hormone auxin appear at regularly-spaced intervals. This creates the striking spiral patterns of seeds observed in sunflowers, daisies, and many other plants. Other patterns, such as branching at right angles observed in lilac branching, can be also be simulated using different parameter values.

The subject of the study was a plant called Arabidopsis, a small white-flowered plant that is to the world of b otany what the fruit fly and white mouse are to zoology.

The scientists believe their model will enhance biological experiments by providing a tool botanists can use to complement and interpret their traditional laboratory experiments. It also promises to lead to accurate models of how other organisms, including animals, develop from primordial stem cells.

"This was a great example of the synergy you can have between biology and computer science and how the tools of one discipline can be used to answer questions in another," said Prusinkiewicz, who specializes in computer simulations and visualizations in plant biology. "


Source:University of Calgary

Related biology news :

1. Key molecule in plant photo-protection identified
2. Transplantation Of Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells Reverses Parkinson Disease In Primates
3. Emory Eye Center Implants Its First Retinal Chips In Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa
4. Circles Of DNA Might Help Predict Success Of Stem Cell Transplantation
5. Antibodies from plants protect against anthrax
6. New RNA polymerase discovered in plants
7. Implanted Devices Detect High-Risk Heart Failure Patients
8. Ophthalmologists implant five patients with artificial silicon retina microchip
9. World-first Living Donor Islet Cell Transplant A Success; Procedure Offers Promise For Diabetics
10. Polymers with copper show promise for implanted sensors
11. Transgenic plants remove more selenium from polluted soil than wild plants, new tests show
Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" ... by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP ... States based venture capital funds which together ... (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they ... their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... their findings on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker ... new research. Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's ... of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: