An Optimal Transport Approach to Crop Root Systems and related Multiscale Structures (19rit265)


Young-Heon Kim (University of British Columbia)

Brendan Pass (University of Alberta)

Dave Schneider (University of Saskatchewan)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "An optimal transport approach to crop root systems and related multiscale structures" workshop in Banff from January 20, 2019 to January 27, 2019.

Given the root systems of several plants with identical genotypes (geneome sequence) and grown in the same environment, how does one construct a "typical'' representative of the set? What about variation within the set? How might one assess whether root systems of different genotypes are similar or different? Answers to these questions is a crucial step towards understanding the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes, and may potentially be used to choose genotypes to optimize certain phenotype dependent properties of root systems (e.g., maximize phosphorus absorption at near surface and tap into deep water reserves during drought).

The goal of this team meeting is to boost up the new collaboration in this direction between two mathematicians and one computational biologist. Our objective for this intensive research period is to develop a mathematical model and related methods that are suitable for analyzing the complex systems of roots in biologically meaningful ways.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).