Computational Models of Auxin-Driven Development

Adam Runions1, Richard S. Smith2, and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz1
1. University of Calgary
2. Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research


Auxin plays a key regulatory role in plant development. According to our current understanding, the morphogenetic action of auxin relies on its polar transport and the feedback between this transport and the localization of auxin transporters. Computational models complement experimental data in studies of auxin-driven development: they help understand the self-organizing aspects of auxin patterning, reveal whether hypothetical mechanisms inferred from experiments are plausible, and highlight differences between competing hypotheses that can be used to direct further experimental studies. In this chapter we present the state of the art in the computational modeling of auxin patterning and auxin-driven development in plants. We first discuss the methodological foundations of model construction: computational representations of tissues, cells, and molecular components of the studied systems. On this basis, we present mathematical models of auxin transport and the essential properties of pattern formation mechanisms involving auxin. We then review some of the key areas that have been investigated with the use of models: phyllotactic patterning of lateral organs in the shoot apical meristem, determination of leaf shape and vasculature, long-distance signaling and apical control of development, and auxin patterning in the root. The chapter is concluded with a brief review of current open problems.


Adam Runions, Richard S. Smith, and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz. Computational Models of Auxin-Driven Development. In Auxin and Its Role in Plant Development, pp. 315-357, 2014.

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