Eight students from the Faculty of Bioengineering have just published an article in the blog of the well-known journal Annals of Botany. It’s an impressive honour for these students* who spent a semester last year studying a technique which has recently emerged in biological research: virtual plants.
‘For years,’ the students write in their article, ‘a small section of the plant biology research community has been developing and using plant models. Let’s be quite clear: when we talk about plant models, we are not referring to a “model plant” (...) but to computer models of plants. Virtual plants.’They go on to explain that ‘These plant models have been used to describe the formation, growth and development of plant organs (for example, roots, stems, fruits and leaves), but also how these organs influence and are influenced by their environment.’
The application potential for virtual plants is very broad, yet few researchers in plant biology use them. Why is this? This is what the students sought to discover through their work, conducted as part of the course on ‘Modelling of biological systems’ run by Professors Xavier Draye and Guillaume Lobet.The results can be found in the article published in the blog of the ‘Annals of Botany’.
*Brieuc Ryelandt, Antoine Rummens, Thomas Feron, Gabriel Carestia, François Duquesne, Nicolas Deffense and Fabio Claps.