What is it about?

Stomata, variable aperture pores on the surface of a leaf, open and close in response to changing atmospheric and water availability conditions. They do so in order to take in carbon dioxide from the air (necessary for photosynthesis) while mitigating water loss due to evaporation. The equations that describe stomatal behavior are identical to the equations that describe how a class of cellular computational networks solve problems.

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Why is it important?

A cellular computer can be programmed to mimic a plant's behavior, such as its water use efficiency. By altering the program, changes in the modeled plant output can be observed. Changes that lead to improved model plant output can be used to suggest strategies for genetic or environmental modifications to improve real plant productivity.


I am optimistic that an interdisciplinary collaboration based on this work can produce significant progress in applied plant research.

David Peak
Utah State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Stomatal patchiness and cellular computing, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2220270120.
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