Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Plant Sci. 2017 Jun 9;8:900. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00900. eCollection 2017.

Morphological Plant Modeling: Unleashing Geometric and Topological Potential within the Plant Sciences.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, AthensGA, United States.
2
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, AthensGA, United States.
3
Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia, AthensGA, United States.
4
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New HavenCT, United States.
5
Laboratory of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-CalaviCotonou, Benin.
6
Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, BlacksburgVA, United States.
7
Department of Geosciences, Baylor University, WacoTX, United States.
8
Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, KnoxvilleTN, United States.
9
The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of CambridgeCambridge, United Kingdom.
10
Division of Biology, University of Washington, BothellWA, United States.
11
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. LouisMO, United States.
12
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences-Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A&M University, College StationTX, United States.
13
School of Mathematics and Statistics and Bateson Centre, University of SheffieldSheffield, United Kingdom.
14
Department of Mathematics, Florida State University, TallahasseeFL, United States.
15
Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology and Section of Plant Biology, School of Integrative Plant Sciences, Cornell University, IthacaNY, United States.
16
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West LafayetteIN, United States.
17
Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, St. LouisMO, United States.
18
School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, IthacaNY, United States.
19
Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University ParkPA, United States.
20
Center for Organismal Studies, Heidelberg UniversityHeidelberg, Germany.
21
Department of Plant Biology, University of California, Davis, DavisCA, United States.
22
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, BerkeleyCA, United States.
23
Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, The University of North Carolina, Chapel HillNC, United States.
24
Plant Sciences (IBG-2), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, JülichGermany.
25
CIRAD, UMR AGAP, INRIA, VirtualPlantsMontpellier, France.
26
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, KnoxvilleTN, United States.
27
Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, National Land Survey of FinlandMasala, Finland.
28
Centre of Excellence in Laser Scanning Research, National Land Survey of FinlandMasala, Finland.
29
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, KnoxvilleTN, United States.
30
Unidad de Genómica Avanzada, Laboratorio Nacional de Genómica para la Biodiversidad, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV)Irapuato, Mexico.
31
Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, MadisonWI, United States.
32
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware, NewarkDE, United States.

Abstract

The geometries and topologies of leaves, flowers, roots, shoots, and their arrangements have fascinated plant biologists and mathematicians alike. As such, plant morphology is inherently mathematical in that it describes plant form and architecture with geometrical and topological techniques. Gaining an understanding of how to modify plant morphology, through molecular biology and breeding, aided by a mathematical perspective, is critical to improving agriculture, and the monitoring of ecosystems is vital to modeling a future with fewer natural resources. In this white paper, we begin with an overview in quantifying the form of plants and mathematical models of patterning in plants. We then explore the fundamental challenges that remain unanswered concerning plant morphology, from the barriers preventing the prediction of phenotype from genotype to modeling the movement of leaves in air streams. We end with a discussion concerning the education of plant morphology synthesizing biological and mathematical approaches and ways to facilitate research advances through outreach, cross-disciplinary training, and open science. Unleashing the potential of geometric and topological approaches in the plant sciences promises to transform our understanding of both plants and mathematics.

KEYWORDS:

mathematics; modeling; morphology; plant biology; plant science; topology

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center