Dr Veronica Grieneisen

Project Leader
Computational and Systems Biology

Swarm robots mimicking the communication which takes place between plant cells

My Lab aims to understand spatial regulation of intracellular cell polarity, cell shape changes, and intercellular polarity coupling and signalling in morphogenesis. 

To achieve this, we use a combination of approaches: mathematical and computational methods, experiments in Arabidopsis, and (most recently), 'experiences' with autonomous agents (robot swarms). 

In particular, we wish to unravel the complexity of the feedbacks between subcellular mechanisms of cell polarity and tissue-level patterning mechanisms, focusing on hormonal patterning, genetic regulatory networks, biophysical interactions, and the tight-interaction between plant development and the environment.

From a theoretical standpoint, our studies allow us to gain new insights on mechanisms of biological pattern formation and principles of auto-organisation. From a practical point of view, we are interested in understanding how plants control their growth and architecture, and how they optimally regulate their intake of nutrients. 

Our multi-modelling strategy captures biological processes at different levels – molecular and genetic levels, subcellular properties, cells and organs – allowing them to interact under certain hypothesis and within a 'controlled' system (which experiments do not easily permit).

A root map for growth

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BBC Radio 4 - Frontiers: Swarming Robots

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Plant intelligence for better swarm robots

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Selected Publications

Abley K., De Reuille P. B., Strutt D., Bangham A., Prusinkiewicz P., Maree A. F., Grieneisen V. A., Coen E. (2013)

An intracellular partitioning-based framework for tissue cell polarity in plants and animals.

Development 140 p2061-74

Publisher’s version: 10.1242/dev.062984

Recent Publications

el Showk S., Help-Rinta-Rahko H., Blomster T., Siligato R., Maree A. F. M., Mahonen A. P., Grieneisen V. A. (2015)

Parsimonious Model of Vascular Patterning Links Transverse Hormone Fluxes to Lateral Root Initiation: Auxin Leads the Way, while Cytokinin Levels Out.

PLoS Computational Biology 11 pe1004450

Publisher’s version: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004450

Shimotohno A., Sotta N., Sato T., De Ruvo M., Maree A. F. M., Grieneisen V. A., Fujiwara T. (2015)

Mathematical Modeling and Experimental Validation of the Spatial Distribution of Boron in the Root of Arabidopsis thaliana Identify High Boron Accumulation in the Tip and Predict a Distinct Root Tip Uptake Function.

Plant Cell Physiology 56 p620-30

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/pcp/pcv016

Grieneisen V. A., Marée A. F. M., Ostergaard L. (2013)

Juicy stories on female reproductive tissue development: coordinating the hormone flows.

Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 55 p847-63

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/jipb.12092

Grieneisen V. A., Marée A. F., Ostergaard L. (2013)

Juicy Stories on Female Reproductive Tissue Development: Coordinating the Hormone Flows.

Journal of Integrative Plant Biology

Publisher’s version: 10.1111/jipb.12092

View All

Veronica Grieneisen

  • Dr Ross Carter Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Binish Mohammed Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Nadiatul Radzman Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Martin Hinsch Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Susana Sauret-Gueto Research Assistant


President's Medalist of the Society of Experimental Biology, 2011

Hugo de Vries Award of the Hugo de Vries Foundation and the Royal Dutch Botanical Society, 2009


Swarm robots mimicking the communication which takes place between plant cells

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