Computational modeling of auxin: A foundation for plant engineering

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Abstract

Since the development of agriculture, humans have relied on the cultivation of plants to satisfy our increasing demand for food, natural products, and other raw materials. As we understand more about plant development, we can better manipulate plants to fulfill our particular needs. Auxins are a class of simple metabolites that coordinate many developmental activities like growth and the appearance of functional structures in plants. Computational modeling of auxin has proven to be an excellent tool in elucidating many mechanisms that underlie these developmental events. Due to the complexity of these mechanisms, current modeling efforts are concerned only with single phenomena focused on narrow spatial and developmental contexts; but a general model of plant development could be assembled by integrating the insights from all of them. In this perspective, we summarize the current collection of auxin-driven computational models, focusing on how they could come together into a single model for plant development. A model of this nature would allow researchers to test hypotheses in silico and yield accurate predictions about the behavior of a plant under a given set of physical and biochemical constraints. It would also provide a solid foundation toward the establishment of plant engineering, a proposed discipline intended to enable the design and production of plants that exhibit an arbitrarily defined set of features.

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Morales-Tapia, A., & Ruz-Ramírez, A. (2016). Computational modeling of auxin: A foundation for plant engineering. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7(DECEMBER2016). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01881

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