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UK, Germany, Netherlands Give $2.5M for Plant Systems Biology Effort

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at universities in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands will use €1.7 million ($2.5 million) to conduct systems biology and informatics-based studies of plant seed germination, according to the University of Freiburg.

The Virtual Seed (vSeed) consortium, which is funded by the three nations' national research organizations, will work to provide a mathematical description of the processes involved in seed germination in two related plants, Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) and Lepidium satvium (garden cress).

The aim of the research is to learn about the molecular, physiological, and mechanical processes of plant seeds and to use mathematical modeling to pull together the three types of knowledge.

The research will be led by researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany, the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham in the UK, and Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

The three years of funding will support eight total labs and several doctoral positions, Freiburg said.

"Biologists and mathematicians need to work together to produce an integrative and comprehensive view of the various levels of these processes by means of systems biological modeling," Gerhard Leubner, head of the research group of plant physiology at Freiburg, said in a statement.

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