System Biology

Although ecologists and physiologists have been using a systems approach to study plants for many years, a systems biology approach that reaches to and includes molecular details is only feasible now with the advent of genomic technologies. Thus, the exciting prospect of the post-genomic era is for the first time to be able to integrate knowledge across different levels of biological organization and to anchor this at the molecular level. The biological systems studied in the department, such as cell cycle, lateral root development, cell death, lignification, bud dormancy, leaf development, plant-microbe interactions,are all highly complex and will benefit considerably from the integration in a systems biology approach. Biologists now have the tools at hand to view the global behaviour of their preferred model systems and to better select the genes that are likely to play key roles in the regulation of entire processes. Furthermore, new developments in the cloning of open reading frames, promoters and the making of constructs to perturb gene expression will considerably help to functionally analyse the genes of interest. Systems biology requires the integration of three disciplines: bioinformatics and computational biology to model networks; functional genomics to develop and implement tools for the high-throughput analysis of biological systems; and last but not least biologists to ask the relevant questions and to develop the right material to answer them.

The Europe phytochemicals & plant extracts market is estimated to grow from $833.7 million in 2014 to $1.25 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 8.4% during the period under consideration in system biology

Although ecologists and physiologists have been using a systems approach to study plants for many years, a systems biology approach that reaches to and includes molecular details is only feasible now with the advent of genomic technologies. Thus, the exciting prospect of the post-genomic era is for the first time to be able to integrate knowledge across different levels of biological organization and to anchor this at the molecular level. The biological systems studied in the department, such as cell cycle, lateral root development, cell death, lignification, bud dormancy, leaf development, plant-microbe interactions, are all highly complex and will benefit considerably from the integration in a systems biology approach.

  • Introduction to systems biology
  • Tools of systems biology
  • Modeling the biological pathway
  • Gene regulatory / co-expression network analysis
  • Primary / secondary metabolite networks of plants: a case study

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