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1.  Integrating Physiology and Architecture in Models of Fruit Expansion 
Architectural properties of a fruit, such as its shape, vascular patterns, and skin morphology, play a significant role in determining the distributions of water, carbohydrates, and nutrients inside the fruit. Understanding the impact of these properties on fruit quality is difficult because they develop over time and are highly dependent on both genetic and environmental controls. We present a 3D functional-structural fruit model that can be used to investigate effects of the principle architectural properties on fruit quality. We use a three step modeling pipeline in the OpenAlea platform: (1) creating a 3D volumetric mesh representation of the internal and external fruit structure, (2) generating a complex network of vasculature that is embedded within this mesh, and (3) integrating aspects of the fruit's function, such as water and dry matter transport, with the fruit's structure. We restrict our approach to the phase where fruit growth is mostly due to cell expansion and the fruit has already differentiated into different tissue types. We show how fruit shape affects vascular patterns and, as a consequence, the distribution of sugar/water in tomato fruit. Furthermore, we show that strong interaction between tomato fruit shape and vessel density induces, independently of size, an important and contrasted gradient of water supply from the pedicel to the blossom end of the fruit. We also demonstrate how skin morphology related to microcracking distribution affects the distribution of water and sugars inside nectarine fruit. Our results show that such a generic model permits detailed studies of various, unexplored architectural features affecting fruit quality development.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.01739
PMCID: PMC5116533  PMID: 27917187
functional-structural plant modeling; virtual fruit; vascular patterns; fruit shape; water and dry matter transport
2.  Auxin-driven patterning with unidirectional fluxes 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2015;66(16):5083-5102.
Highlight
The key modes of auxin-driven patterning— the formation of convergence points and canals—depend on whether auxin efflux and influx feed back on polar auxin transport synergistically or antagonistically.
The plant hormone auxin plays an essential role in the patterning of plant structures. Biological hypotheses supported by computational models suggest that auxin may fulfil this role by regulating its own transport, but the plausibility of previously proposed models has been questioned. We applied the notion of unidirectional fluxes and the formalism of Petri nets to show that the key modes of auxin-driven patterning—the formation of convergence points and the formation of canals—can be implemented by biochemically plausible networks, with the fluxes measured by dedicated tally molecules or by efflux and influx carriers themselves. Common elements of these networks include a positive feedback of auxin efflux on the allocation of membrane-bound auxin efflux carriers (PIN proteins), and a modulation of this allocation by auxin in the extracellular space. Auxin concentration in the extracellular space is the only information exchanged by the cells. Canalization patterns are produced when auxin efflux and influx act antagonistically: an increase in auxin influx or concentration in the extracellular space decreases the abundance of efflux carriers in the adjacent segment of the membrane. In contrast, convergence points emerge in networks in which auxin efflux and influx act synergistically. A change in a single reaction rate may result in a dynamic switch between these modes, suggesting plausible molecular implementations of coordinated patterning of organ initials and vascular strands predicted by the dual polarization theory.
doi:10.1093/jxb/erv262
PMCID: PMC4513925  PMID: 26116915
Petri nets; auxin-driven patterning; canalization; convergence point formation; dual polarization; modulated feedback; polar auxin transport; unidirectional flux.
3.  Towards aspect-oriented functional–structural plant modelling 
Annals of Botany  2011;108(6):1025-1041.
Background and Aims
Functional–structural plant models (FSPMs) are used to integrate knowledge and test hypotheses of plant behaviour, and to aid in the development of decision support systems. A significant amount of effort is being put into providing a sound methodology for building them. Standard techniques, such as procedural or object-oriented programming, are not suited for clearly separating aspects of plant function that criss-cross between different components of plant structure, which makes it difficult to reuse and share their implementations. The aim of this paper is to present an aspect-oriented programming approach that helps to overcome this difficulty.
Methods
The L-system-based plant modelling language L+C was used to develop an aspect-oriented approach to plant modelling based on multi-modules. Each element of the plant structure was represented by a sequence of L-system modules (rather than a single module), with each module representing an aspect of the element's function. Separate sets of productions were used for modelling each aspect, with context-sensitive rules facilitated by local lists of modules to consider/ignore. Aspect weaving or communication between aspects was made possible through the use of pseudo-L-systems, where the strict-predecessor of a production rule was specified as a multi-module.
Key Results
The new approach was used to integrate previously modelled aspects of carbon dynamics, apical dominance and biomechanics with a model of a developing kiwifruit shoot. These aspects were specified independently and their implementation was based on source code provided by the original authors without major changes.
Conclusions
This new aspect-oriented approach to plant modelling is well suited for studying complex phenomena in plant science, because it can be used to integrate separate models of individual aspects of plant development and function, both previously constructed and new, into clearly organized, comprehensive FSPMs. In a future work, this approach could be further extended into an aspect-oriented programming language for FSPMs.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcr121
PMCID: PMC3189837  PMID: 21724653
L-system; aspect-oriented programming; Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit); functional–structural plant model; plant architecture; carbon dynamics; biomechanics; hormone transport
4.  A functional–structural kiwifruit vine model integrating architecture, carbon dynamics and effects of the environment 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(5):747-764.
Background and Aims
Functional–structural modelling can be used to increase our understanding of how different aspects of plant structure and function interact, identify knowledge gaps and guide priorities for future experimentation. By integrating existing knowledge of the different aspects of the kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) vine's architecture and physiology, our aim is to develop conceptual and mathematical hypotheses on several of the vine's features: (a) plasticity of the vine's architecture; (b) effects of organ position within the canopy on its size; (c) effects of environment and horticultural management on shoot growth, light distribution and organ size; and (d) role of carbon reserves in early shoot growth.
Methods
Using the L-system modelling platform, a functional–structural plant model of a kiwifruit vine was created that integrates architectural development, mechanistic modelling of carbon transport and allocation, and environmental and management effects on vine and fruit growth. The branching pattern was captured at the individual shoot level by modelling axillary shoot development using a discrete-time Markov chain. An existing carbon transport resistance model was extended to account for several source/sink components of individual plant elements. A quasi-Monte Carlo path-tracing algorithm was used to estimate the absorbed irradiance of each leaf.
Key Results
Several simulations were performed to illustrate the model's potential to reproduce the major features of the vine's behaviour. The model simulated vine growth responses that were qualitatively similar to those observed in experiments, including the plastic response of shoot growth to local carbon supply, the branching patterns of two Actinidia species, the effect of carbon limitation and topological distance on fruit size and the complex behaviour of sink competition for carbon.
Conclusions
The model is able to reproduce differences in vine and fruit growth arising from various experimental treatments. This implies it will be a valuable tool for refining our understanding of kiwifruit growth and for identifying strategies to improve production.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcq180
PMCID: PMC3077975  PMID: 20855486
Actinidia deliciosa; kiwifruit; L-systems; plant architecture; carbon allocation; functional–structural plant model

Results 1-4 (4)