Nutations in Growing Plant Shoots: Endogenous and Exogenous Factors in the Presence of Elastic Deformations

Speaker: Daniele Agostinelli

Date: Wed, Aug 4, 2021

Location: Zoom, Online

Conference: Mathematical Biology Seminar

Subject: Mathematics, Mathematical Biology

Class: Scientific


Growing plant shoots exhibit circumnutations, namely, oscillations that draw three-dimensional trajectories, whose projections on the horizontal plane generate pendular, elliptical, or circular orbits. A large body of literature has followed the seminal work by Charles Darwin in 1880, but the nature of this phenomena is still uncertain and a long-lasting debate produced three main theories: the endogenous oscillator, the exogenous feedback oscillator, and the two-oscillator model. After briefly reviewing the three existing hypotheses, I will discuss a possible interpretation of these spontaneous oscillations as a Hopf-like bifurcation in a growing morphoelastic rod.