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Content archived on 2024-04-15



The work, whose general context is the developmental biology of plants, is a study of the dynamics of the mechanical and chemical basis of apical morphogenesis. The initial objectives were to used the morphogenesis of the giant unicellular alga Acetabularia as a model to understand the dynamics of cytoskeleton cell wall interactions with calcium as a major morphogenetic ion. Recent theoretical studies have demonstrated the fruitfulness of mechanical modelling of morphogenetic processes. The present work has shown that mechanochemical field model of cytoskeleton dynamics, coupled with changes in cell wall elasticity and viscosity, provides a basis for describing the changes of form that occur in the generation of apical structures.

The research on Acetabularia morphogenesis had the following major objectives:
to model the dynamics of cell wall and cytogel growth so as to simulate tip extension;
to discover the conditions that result in the phenomenon of tip flattening and the initiation of whorl formation;
to initiate a study of the capacity of the model to generate spatial patterns that simulate the dynamics of leaf primordium formation in higher plants meristems.


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Open University
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Walton Hall
MK7 6AA Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

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