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Monday, 17 January 2011 00:00

The acronym ‘CASPIC' stands for: Cellulose Architecture Systems biology for Plant Innovation Creation

Mission statement

CASPIC is an EU NEST Adventure project
Molecular cell biology is coming of age. The two reasons for it are both rooted in technology: 1) the -omics work provides a huge amount of data and 2) microscopy (and other methods) have become quantitative, making it possible to integrate experimental life sciences and mathematical modeling in a 'systems biology' approach that aims to understand how the individual components determine the property of a whole system. Image
A whole system in this sense is nowadays not a whole organism yet, or organ, tissue, or cell. However, every living system is composed of subsystems, the so-called modules, i.e. processes, pathways, that themselves serve as entities in the higher order modules. Molecular systems biology is rapidly developing for improving human health, but has as much potential for agriculture and its applications. Image

In silico work precedes and directs the wet experiments. A landmark in iterative modeling and experimentation is the point where a mathematical formula on the basis of relevant parameters predicts known biological features. And that is exactly where CASPIC starts, with a formula predicting the angle at which every cellulose microfibril is deposited in a plant cell wall:


Forward modeling predicts wall textures, also for (wood) plant design, because a change in production of matrix polysaccharides gives a change in the fibril: matrix ratio (d).  Backward modeling predicts aspects of underlying cell modules, such as the localization of active synthases, synthase activation domains, the exocytosis area, Golgi activity, translation of cell wall producing enzymes, down to activation of transcription factors.



Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 11:15