Mathematics and Plant Science Study Groups (MPSSG)

MPSSG events were hosted by GARNet and CPIB at the University of Nottingham between 2007 -> 2016. This is a recap of those excellent activities. Thanks to Susie Lydon for sending over these resources to GARNet!


What is a study group?

Study groups are meetings to facilitate interactions between theoretical and life scientists. Plant sciences researchers are invited to present a problem which will be tackled by a team of mathematicians and computer scientists during the four day workshop. Problems can be from any area of plant and crop science but need to be amenable to modelling approaches. Following four days of intensive work, each group presents the progress they have made on their problem. A written report, summarising the progress made during the workshop, is submitted after the meeting.

Links are established between the theoretical and plant scientists attending the meetings so that problems discussed during the study group can be followed up in more detail. Previous meetings in the series have resulted in successful grant proposals, studentships and publications.

Scott Grandison described how our Study Group meetings can lead to publication in a New Phytologist commentary article

The orignal MPSSG organising committee was Leah Band (University of Nottingham), John Fozard (John Innes Centre), Rosemary Dyson (University of Birmingham) and Susie Lydon (University of Nottingham)


Problems from Inaugural Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group

  1. The Mechanics of Arabidopsis Seed Germination.
  2. Measuring genetic diversity?
  3. A Systems Approach for Improving Tea Aroma
  4. The tetrapyrrole biosynthesis pathway in higher plants as an example of a subcellular network
  5. Network properties underlying seed germination control

Problems from Second Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group

  1. Predicting function of plant polysaccharides synthesis enzymes
  2. Modelling carbon assimilatory and recycling pathways in Arabidopsis seedlings
  3. Modelling cell separation during plant organ abscission
  4. A model for floral organ development in Arabidopsis
  5. Modelling landrace structure in under-utilised crops: the bambara groundnut example

Problems from Third Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group

  1. Modelling the intracellular posttranslational protein targeting
  2. Assessing the adaptive significance of plant architectural adaptations to elevated temperature
  3. Intracellular dynamics of secretory vesicles in the tip of growing pollen tubes
  4. Optimising composition and spatial deployment of diversity in agricultural crops for disease control and yield enhancement

Problems from Fourth Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group

  1. Modelling the interactions for JA signalling and response
  2. Defining ideotypes in the biomass crop Miscanthus
  3. Modelling effects of photosynthetic adaptations on source sink relationships and yield patterns of recurrent flowering vegetable crops
  4. Biomechanical modelling of anther dehiscence and pollen release. – Associated Paper in New Phytologist.

Problems from Fifth Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group

  1. Understanding resource allocation in Brassica
  2. Regulation of the timing of tomato fruit ripening
  3. Modelling the formation of diffraction gratings on top of iridescent petal epidermis Associated paper in Journal of the Royal Society
  4. Dynamic modeling of cell shape during oscillatory pollen tube growth

Problems from Sixth Mathematics in the Plant Sciences Study Group

  1. Exploiting heterogeneous environments: how do plants ‘decide‘ to acclimate to a highly variable light input?
  2. Evaluating cell wall structure
  3. How can we explain the phenotypic plasticity of adventitious root initiation?
  4. Modeling the pathway of nitrogen release from the symbiosome
  5. Floral patterning in Sunflower – folding in a confined space

If you have any questions about these reports then please contact Geraint Parry




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