Exploring emergent properties in cellular homeostasis using OnGuard to model K+ and other ion transport in guard cells

Blatt, M. R. , Wang, Y., Leonhardt, N. and Hills, A. (2014) Exploring emergent properties in cellular homeostasis using OnGuard to model K+ and other ion transport in guard cells. Journal of Plant Physiology, 171(9), pp. 770-778. (doi:10.1016/j.jplph.2013.09.014) (PMID:24268743) (PMCID:PMC4030602)

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Abstract

It is widely recognized that the nature and characteristics of transport across eukaryotic membranes are so complex as to defy intuitive understanding. In these circumstances, quantitative mathematical modeling is an essential tool, both to integrate detailed knowledge of individual transporters and to extract the properties emergent from their interactions. As the first, fully integrated and quantitative modeling environment for the study of ion transport dynamics in a plant cell, OnGuard offers a unique tool for exploring homeostatic properties emerging from the interactions of ion transport, both at the plasma membrane and tonoplast in the guard cell. OnGuard has already yielded detail sufficient to guide phenotypic and mutational studies, and it represents a key step toward ‘reverse engineering’ of stomatal guard cell physiology, based on rational design and testing in simulation, to improve water use efficiency and carbon assimilation. Its construction from the HoTSig libraries enables translation of the software to other cell types, including growing root hairs and pollen. The problems inherent to transport are nonetheless challenging, and are compounded for those unfamiliar with conceptual ‘mindset’ of the modeler. Here we set out guidelines for the use of OnGuard and outline a standardized approach that will enable users to advance quickly to its application both in the classroom and laboratory. We also highlight the uncanny and emergent property of OnGuard models to reproduce the ‘communication’ evident between the plasma membrane and tonoplast of the guard cell.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hills, Mr Adrian and Blatt, Professor Michael and Wang, Dr Yizhou
Authors: Blatt, M. R., Wang, Y., Leonhardt, N., and Hills, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Journal of Plant Physiology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0176-1617
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Plant Physiology 171(9):770-778
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
537651Regulation of membrane fusion by a novel Sec1/Munc18-associated proteinMichael BlattBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/H024867/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY
452562Analysis of membrane traffic in adaptive stress tolerance in plantsMichael BlattBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/F001630/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY
522471A protein scaffold common to root K+ transport and stomatal water use efficiencyMichael BlattBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/H009817/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY