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Journal Articles PLoS Computational Biology Year : 2019

Coupling water fluxes with cell wall mechanics in a multicellular model of plant development

Abstract

The growth of plant organs is a complex process powered by osmosis that attracts water inside the cells; this influx induces simultaneously an elastic extension of the walls and pressure in the cells, called turgor pressure; above a threshold, the walls yield and the cells grow. Based on Lockhart's seminal work, various models of plant morphogenesis have been proposed, either for single cells, or focusing on the wall mechanical properties. However , the synergistic coupling of fluxes and wall mechanics has not yet been fully addressed in a multicellular model. This work lays the foundations of such a model, by simplifying as much as possible each process and putting emphasis on the coupling itself. Its emergent properties are rich and can help to understand plant morphogenesis. In particular, we show that the model can display a new type of lateral inhibitory mechanism that amplifies growth heterogeneities due e.g to cell wall loosening. Author summary Plant cells are surrounded by a rigid wall that prevents cell displacements and rearrangements as in animal tissues. Therefore, plant morphogenesis relies only on cell divisions, shape changes, and local modulation of growth rate. It has long been recognized that cell growth relies on the competition between osmosis that tends to attract water into the cells and wall mechanics that resists to it, but this interplay has never been fully explored in a multicellular model. The goal of this work is to analyze the theoretical consequences of this coupling. We show that the emergent behavior is rich and complex: among other findings, pressure and growth rate heterogeneities are predicted without any ad-hoc assumption; furthermore the model can display a new type of lateral inhibition based on fluxes that could complement and strengthen the efficiency of already known mechanisms such as cell wall loosening. PLOS Computational Biology | https://doi.
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Dates and versions

hal-02196768 , version 1 (26-06-2019)
hal-02196768 , version 2 (29-07-2019)

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Ibrahim Cheddadi, Michel Génard, Nadia Bertin, Christophe Godin. Coupling water fluxes with cell wall mechanics in a multicellular model of plant development. PLoS Computational Biology, 2019, 15 (6), pp.e1007121. ⟨10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007121⟩. ⟨hal-02196768v2⟩
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