Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 325–333 | Cite as

Theoretical models for branch formation in plants

  • Akiko NakamasuEmail author
  • Takumi HigakiEmail author
Current Topics in Plant Research


Various branch architectures are observed in living organisms including plants. Branch formation has traditionally been an area of interest in the field of developmental biology, and theoretical approaches are now commonly used to understand the complex mechanisms involved. In this review article, we provide an overview of theoretical approaches including mathematical models and computer simulations for studying plant branch formation. These approaches cover a wide range of topics. In particular, we focus on the importance of positional information in branch formation, which has been especially revealed by theoretical research in plants including computations of developmental processes.


Branch Divarication Mathematical model Plant morphogenesis Theoretical approach 



We thank the members of our laboratory for their help, Shigeru Kondo for the inspiration for this work, Seisuke Kimura and Nobuhiko J. Suematsu for critical discussion and suggestions, and Momoko Ikeuchi for providing a sample and suggestions. This work was supported by Grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant Numbers 17K19380 and 18H05492, from The Sumitomo Foundation for a Grant for Basic Science Research Projects Grant Number 160146, and The Canon Foundation to T.H. We thank Robbie Lewis, MSc, from Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Research Organization for Advanced Science and TechnologyKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan

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