Building multiscale mathematical models of development in Arabidopsis and Drosophila

3 November 2006

Eric Mjolsness
Department of Information and Computer Science
UC Irvine


I will discuss advances of various different kinds: experimental, mathematical, computational, and even mildly political, that promise to make it easier to build multiscale models of developmental processes and to greatly improve them. One example system is pattern formation in the early embryo of Drosophila melanogaster, which is especially dominated by transcriptional regulation. There are systematic approaches to building the required models of transcription complexes. A second example is provided by a model of the shoot apex of Arabidopsis thaliana. Rather than pattern formation by a Turing mechanism, what drives this system is (a) an intracellular reaction network (of course), along with essential roles for (b) intercellular signaling by spatially polarized transport of the plant hormone auxin, and (c) the mechanics of cell growth, cell division, and dynamic connectivity of cells. These experiences provide the motivation and technique for creating a new mathematical modeling language for biological development.

This is joint work with Tigran Bacarian, Marcus Heisler, Henrik Jönsson, Pawel Krupinski, Elliot Meyerowitz, Bruce Shapiro, and Guy Yosiphon.


The Computable Plant

current theory lunch schedule