Exploring mechanisms of xylem cell wall patterning with dynamic models
The plant vascular system contains a remarkable variety of functional cell wall patterns, similar to zebra stripes and leopard prints. At the molecular level, these patterns are specified through the interplay of two important molecular players at the cell membrane: ROP proteins and cortical microtubules. In this thesis, I use a variety of modelling approaches to explore the mechnisms through which these components form the various observed patterns. In particular, I study how different mechanisms may allow ROPs to form patterns of multiple coexisting clusters, how microtubules can orient ROP patterns, and how microtubulus can follow existing ROP patterns. The findings demonstrate key elements of ROP and how microtubule patterning and highlight the importance of the interplay between the two.