VirtualLeaf is a computer modeling framework for the simulation of plant tissue morphogenesis, i.e., the biological development of an organism's shape. The software framework allows plant researchers to build simulations of developmental processes based on abstractions of cells, cell walls, and diffusing and reacting chemicals. These simulations can be used to analyze the function of developmental genes in the context of the biophysics of growth and patterning. The functionality of Virtual Leaf is currently being extended to the study of animal tissues.

The VirtualLeaf software is well known and often used in the plant modeling and research community. The researchers from the Life Sciences (LS) group have published a step-by-step introduction, various example models and parameter studies to get you started. On a regular basis CWI hosts researchers from other institutes who want to use or get involved with VirtualLeaf.

Additional Metadata
THEME Life Sciences (theme 5), Energy (theme 4)
Project Integrating modeling into plant systems biology: Applications to auxin-driven plant morphogenesis
Rights GNU-GPLv3

If you use VirtualLeaf in your work, please cite our paper

Merks, R.M.H., Guravage, M., Inzé, D., & Beemster, G.T.S. (2011). VirtualLeaf: An Open-Source Framework for Cell-Based Modeling of Plant Tissue Growth and Development. Plant Phys., 155(2), 656–666. (Open Access)

Merks, R.M.H, Guravage, M.A, Inze, D, & Beemster, G.T.S. (2010). VirtualLeaf.