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

Speaker: Daniele Agostinelli

Date: Mon, Jun 28, 2021 to Tue, Jun 29, 2021

Location: Online

Conference: 2021 Frontiers in Biophysics

Subject: 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.

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