What is quantitative plant biology?

Daphné Autran, George W. Bassel, Eunyoung Chae, Daphne Ezer, Ali Ferjani, Christian Fleck, Olivier Hamant, Félix P. Hartmann, Yuling Jiao, Iain G. Johnston, Dorota Kwiatkowska, Boon L. Lim, Ari Pekka Mahönen, Richard J. Morris, Bela M. Mulder, Naomi Nakayama, Ross Sozzani, Lucia C. Strader, Kirsten Ten Tusscher, Minako UedaSebastian Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitative plant biology is an interdisciplinary field that builds on a long history of biomathematics and biophysics. Today, thanks to high spatiotemporal resolution tools and computational modelling, it sets a new standard in plant science. Acquired data, whether molecular, geometric or mechanical, are quantified, statistically assessed and integrated at multiple scales and across fields. They feed testable predictions that, in turn, guide further experimental tests. Quantitative features such as variability, noise, robustness, delays or feedback loops are included to account for the inner dynamics of plants and their interactions with the environment. Here, we present the main features of this ongoing revolution, through new questions around signalling networks, tissue topology, shape plasticity, biomechanics, bioenergetics, ecology and engineering. In the end, quantitative plant biology allows us to question and better understand our interactions with plants. In turn, this field opens the door to transdisciplinary projects with the society, notably through citizen science.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10
JournalQuantitative Plant Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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