Mathematical approaches to seed germination

Hampstead, Anthony (2014) Mathematical approaches to seed germination. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Plant seeds progress through specific stages during germination, from quiescence in the dry state through water uptake, testa rupture and finally endosperm rupture. The stages of seed germination are fairly well classified but the underlying biochemical and mechanical processes are unknown. The ability to control a seeds progression through the stages of germination has implications on farming efficiency and so the following thesis explores Arabidopsis thaliana and Lepidium sativum seeds during the germination process.

A systematic approach to analysing the shape of cells within the radicle (embryonic root tissue) is developed, using confocal imaging, in order to characterise the shape of cells in the different tissues of the radicle. The cell shape approximations are not refined enough to characterise the different cell tissues. With more data, this approach would hope to find the region in which cells alter through the germination process.

Change in the activity of cell wall modifying enzymes within the endosperm, that surrounds the emerging embryo, is a key part of the germination process and temporally and spatially defined high resolution transcriptomics data-sets are available to inform models. Through the course of this thesis, biochemical networks are developed, with ordinary and partial differential equation models being constructed and analysed. The models highlight elements for further investigation as well as differences between the two species considered. The mathematical models, along with data from biomechanical experiments on the endosperm, inform discussion on how the cell wall biochemistry of a cell wall alters the cell wall properties. These discussions focus on cell wall permeability, extensibility and the final cell separation event associated with germination. From the considered proteins, polygalacturonase and pectin lyase arise as the only viable candidates to cause the cell separation event with the model framework.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Holdsworth, M.
King, J.R.
Hodgman, T.C.
Keywords: seeds, seed germination, cell walls, mathematical models
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany > QK640 Plant anatomy
Q Science > QK Botany > QK710 Plant physiology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
Item ID: 13979
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 11:48
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 06:14

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