Multiscale Modelling and Analysis of Plant Cell Signalling Processes and Biomechanics

  • Henry Richard Allen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Plant growth, development, and responses to environmental cues are regulated by complex networks of interacting signalling molecules. Signalling pathways activate in response to external or internal cues, leading to a series of signalling processes which end with changes in gene expression. By modifying protein level in this way, specific signalling molecules can enhance or inhibit growth processes at the cell level.

In this thesis, we investigate how cellular signalling events contribute to overall growth of plant tissues. We develop mathematical models describing cellular signalling pathways and their regulation of cell growth processes. Our models consist of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations describing temporal and spatiotemporal dynamics respectively. We explore the solution structures of our models of cellular signalling processes through analysis and numerical simulation. By solving our cellular models on domains consisting of multiple cells we investigate the contribution of cellular processes to tissue-level phenomena, such as heterogeneous patterning in tissues and growth dynamics. We demonstrate the interplay between growth processes and expression of signalling molecules over time in a plant tissue.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
SupervisorMariya Ptashnyk (Supervisor) & Fordyce Davidson (Supervisor)

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