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Multicellular models

Although plants are complex organisms, the position and shapes of cells, tissues, meristems and organs establish themselves through regular and repeated processes. The cell constitutes the elementary structural and functional unit of these processes.

Cells are capable of synthesising new proteins and through intercommunication they maintain a large variety of genetic activities and trigger specific developmental programmes. Therefore, a model of the networks of cell-cell interactions is essential to describe how new organsand tissues are initiated and regulated by environmental signals.

The development of multicellular models is providing a fundamental understanding of the functioning of meristems that is central to explaining the plasticity of plant responses to changes in environmental conditions. We have collaboration with Dr Jim Haseloff and Dr Fernan Federici to couple models microscopy data with specifically localised fluorescent gene markers and image processing for analysis of cell growth and genetic activity across living plant tissues.

Image of Cellular Model of Trichome Pattern Formation

Further reading

Dupuy, L., Mackenzie, J., Rudge, T., Haseloff, J. 2008. Annals of Botany 101(8), 1255-1265.
Dupuy, L., Mackenzie, J., Haseloff, J. 2010. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(6), 2711–2716.


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.