Mathematical modelling of calcium signalling

Evans, Matthew (2017) Mathematical modelling of calcium signalling. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Calcium (Ca2+) plays an integral role in a vast array of signalling pathways within both animals
and plants. The study of these pathways has proven to be a fruitful avenue of research
for experimental biologists and mathematical modellers. While the signalling processes have
been well studied in animals, the same cannot be said of plants. This work takes a mathematical
look at two important Ca2+ signalling pathways in plants, with a focus on how these
signals are generated.
Nuclear Ca2+ oscillations in legumes occur at a key step in the development of symbioses.
The oscillations occur both inside the nucleus and in the perinuclear cytoplasm, and are
temporally coordinated. We present and develop a model for simulating diffusion on the
surface of the nucleus and relate the properties of this signalling to behaviour in the bulk. We
show that diffusion of Ca2+ through the nuclear pore complexes provides a possible mechanism
for this coordination and that this mechanism is robust to differences in Ca2+ diffusion rates
in the two compartments or to different numbers of Ca2+ channels.
Ca2+ has also been seen to propagate a wave travelling systemically through the root in
response to salt stress. This wave is essential to the transcription of stress response genes in
the leaves. We examine a range of di�erent models for propagation of the wave, demonstrating
that a combined reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ wave cooperatively propagate the
signal. The presence of this accompanying ROS wave was confirmed in experiments by our
The present study highlights two very different Ca2+ signals and demonstrates the value
of mathematical modelling for interpreting, understanding and furthering experimental investigations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Users 4971 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 13:28
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 13:28


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