Physical Models of Plant Development.

O. Ali, V. Mirabet, C. Godin & J. Traas

Annual review of cell and developmental biology, 30, pp.59–78. (2014)


The definition of shape in multicellular organisms is a major issue of devel- opmental biology. It is well established that morphogenesis relies on genetic regulation. However, cells, tissues, and organism behaviors are also bound by the laws of physics, which limit the range of possible deformations organ- isms can undergo but also define what organisms must do to achieve specific shapes. Besides experiments, theoretical models and numerical simulations of growing tissues are powerful tools to investigate the link between genetic regulation and mechanics. Here, we provide an overview of the main me- chanical models of plant morphogenesis developed so far, from subcellular scales to whole tissues. The common concepts and discrepancies between the various models are discussed.