Dr Veronica Grieneisen

Senior Scientist
Computational and Systems Biology

Veronica’s research uses our current understanding of subcellular interactions to look at what is possible in terms of tissue-level patterning mechanisms to develop robust plants which can respond to a changing environment.

Her research explores cell polarity and hormonal patterns and fluxes, and how chemicals move through plant tissue.

She uses mathematical and computational methodology to understand genetic networks and pathways and to develop models and knowledge of plant growth, architecture and environmental interactions.

  • Mathematical and computational modelling of biological processes
  • Understanding the mechanisms which control tissue level patterning
  • Environmental influences on plant development


Swarm robots mimicking the communication which takes place between plant cells

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

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

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

Their 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).

Life in the fast lane: how plants avoid traffic jams

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Hormonal tug-of-war helps plant roots navigate their journey through the soil, new international study finds

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A root map for growth

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BBC Radio 4 - Frontiers: Swarming 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

Grieneisen V., McCleery W. T., Radzman N. (2017)

Root branching plasticity: collective decision-making results from local and global signalling.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology 44 p51-58

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.ceb.2017.03.001

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

View All

Veronica Grieneisen

  • Dr Ross Carter 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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