Plants 2013, 2(1), 16-49; doi:10.3390/plants2010016
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Systems Modeling at Multiple Levels of Regulation: Linking Systems and Genetic Networks to Spatially Explicit Plant Populations

School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2012; in revised form: 21 December 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2013 / Published: 25 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex System Theory Applied to Plant Sciences)
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Abstract: Selection and adaptation of individuals to their underlying environments are highly dynamical processes, encompassing interactions between the individual and its seasonally changing environment, synergistic or antagonistic interactions between individuals and interactions amongst the regulatory genes within the individual. Plants are useful organisms to study within systems modeling because their sedentary nature simplifies interactions between individuals and the environment, and many important plant processes such as germination or flowering are dependent on annual cycles which can be disrupted by climate behavior. Sedentism makes plants relevant candidates for spatially explicit modeling that is tied in with dynamical environments. We propose that in order to fully understand the complexities behind plant adaptation, a system that couples aspects from systems biology with population and landscape genetics is required. A suitable system could be represented by spatially explicit individual-based models where the virtual individuals are located within time-variable heterogeneous environments and contain mutable regulatory gene networks. These networks could directly interact with the environment, and should provide a useful approach to studying plant adaptation.
Keywords: population genetics; landscape genetics; spatial individual based modeling; simulation; gene regulatory networks; systems biology

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kitchen, J.L.; Allaby, R.G. Systems Modeling at Multiple Levels of Regulation: Linking Systems and Genetic Networks to Spatially Explicit Plant Populations. Plants 2013, 2, 16-49.

AMA Style

Kitchen JL, Allaby RG. Systems Modeling at Multiple Levels of Regulation: Linking Systems and Genetic Networks to Spatially Explicit Plant Populations. Plants. 2013; 2(1):16-49.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kitchen, James L.; Allaby, Robin G. 2013. "Systems Modeling at Multiple Levels of Regulation: Linking Systems and Genetic Networks to Spatially Explicit Plant Populations." Plants 2, no. 1: 16-49.

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