University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Tales of growth and buckling: Micro-pattern formation on petal surface cells

Tales of growth and buckling: Micro-pattern formation on petal surface cells

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The presence of ordered nanoridges in petal surface cells has been linked to structural colour, flower surface adhesion and wetting properties, which are physical features that play roles in plant pollination. The origin of such structures is the topic of this talk. We present and discuss results for nano-ridge formation within the framework of the theory of morphoelasticity, which allow us to link the mechanical response of soft matter with developmental processes at the cellular level.

We then present results obtained by applying these ideas to the specific case of Hibiscus trionum petals. In this case, microscopic and mechanical data in conjuction with mathematical modeling have successfully recreated observed structures leading to new insights into the relevant processes that initiate or inhibit the formation of ridges. We then discuss the role played by geometry and boundary conditions in the features of the buckled solutions and how this could provide a general framework for other observed patterns in plant epidermal cells.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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