High-Resolution Laser Scanning Reveals Plant Architectures that Reflect Universal Network Design Principles

Conn, A., Pedmale, U. V., Chory, J., Navlakha, S. (July 2017) High-Resolution Laser Scanning Reveals Plant Architectures that Reflect Universal Network Design Principles. Cell Syst, 5 (1). 53-62.e3. ISSN 2405-4712 (Print)2405-4712

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28750198
DOI: 10.1016/j.cels.2017.06.017


Transport networks serve critical functions in biological and engineered systems, and yet their design requires trade-offs between competing objectives. Due to their sessile lifestyle, plants need to optimize their architecture to efficiently acquire and distribute resources while also minimizing costs in building infrastructure. To understand how plants resolve this design trade-off, we used high-precision three-dimensional laser scanning to map the architectures of tomato, tobacco, or sorghum plants grown in several environmental conditions and through multiple developmental time points, scanning in total 505 architectures from 37 plants. Using a graph-theoretic algorithm that we developed to evaluate design strategies, we find that plant architectures lie along the Pareto front between two simple length-based objectives-minimizing total branch length and minimizing nutrient transport distance-thereby conferring a selective fitness advantage for plant transport processes. The location along the Pareto front can distinguish among species and conditions, suggesting that during evolution, natural selection may employ common network design principles despite different optimization trade-offs.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3D scanning Pareto optimality biological trade-offs plant shoot architectures transport network design
Subjects: organism description > plant behavior
organism description > plant
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Pedmale lab
CSHL labs > Navlakha lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 26 July 2017
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 17:37
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2019 19:25
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/35241

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