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On the role of mechanical feedback in plant morphogenesis

Abstract : How do living objects acquire their shape? Incontrovertibly, morphogenesisis largely regulated by genes. Yet, the precise link between thechemical processes associated with genes, on the one hand, and geometry,one the other hand, is not completely identified. This link is most probablyindirect, and mediated by mechanical processes. It is now well acceptedthat intracellular molecular processes regulate locally cell mechanicalproperties and that shape emerges as the global resolution of resultingmechanical constraints.This so-called biomechanical paradigm is employed in this thesis in thecontext of plant morphogenesis, that mostly relies on cell growth. Thelocal control of growth is crucial for the stability and robustness ofmorphogenesis, and relies on various regulatory mechanisms. Inparticular, according to a recent hypothesis, cells may dynamicallyadapt their growth behavior in response to the mechanical forces theyexperience.This local regulation integrates at larger, multicellular scale, in anonintuitive way. In this thesis, I investigate i/ the mathematicalformalization of a stress-based control of growth and ii/ themacroscopic emergent behavior of such mechanism. To do so, I have used amultiscale modeling approach, based on a continuum mathematical modelof growth (previously developed within the theory of morphoelasticity),and on a mean description of the molecular processes supposedly involvedin mechanoperception and the control of cell elastic properties. Tostudy this model, I have designed dedicated algorithms, integrated into apreviously developed software environment, based on the finite elementmethod. This model is then used to study the mechanical stability ofhighly asymmetric organs like leaves, suggesting that a force-basedcontrol of growth allows the amplification of shape asymmetry duringdevelopment.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 22, 2019 - 3:19:21 PM
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Hadrien Oliveri. On the role of mechanical feedback in plant morphogenesis. Modeling and Simulation. Université Montpellier, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019MONTS021⟩. ⟨tel-02176096v2⟩

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