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Understanding complexity from molecules to ecosystems

by Agu Laisk, Ladislav Nedbal and Govindjee

"Photosynthesis in silico" is a unique book that aims to show an integrated approach to the understanding of photosynthesis processes beginning with light absorption and excitation energy transfer to global issues using mathematical modeling. It is written by international authorities from 13 countries. Mathematics is a powerful tool for quantitative analysis. Properly programmed, contemporary computers are able to mimic complicated processes in living cells and organisms, e.g. such as photosynthesis. These simulations - mathematical models - help us to predict the photosynthetic responses of modeled samples under various combinations of environmental conditions, potentially occurring in nature, e.g., the responses of plant canopies to globally increasing temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, such highly integrated responses are based on partial reactions at different levels of the biological hierarchy, where full analytical power is needed to understand Nature's infinite complexity at every level. This book presents a cross-section of mathematical approaches to the photosynthetic process - from the absorption of light quanta and migration of excitation, through electron transport, carbon assimilation, allocation of substrates and products, up to the mutual interaction of individual plants in canopies. The book provides the necessary background on photosynthesis and demonstrate the benefits of the computer-aided quantitative analysis of its reactions. The book is designed for graduate students and researchers in plant physiology, functional plant biology, plant biochemistry, plant biophysics and systems biology.

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