Universality in Kinetic Models of Circadian Rhythms in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Biological evolution has endowed the plant Arabidopsis thaliana with genetically regulated circadian rhythms. A number of authors have published kinetic models for these oscillating chemical reactions based on a network of interacting genes. To investigate the hypothesis that the Arabidopsis circadian dynamical system is poised near a Hopf bifurcation like some other biological oscillators, we varied the kinetic parameters in the models and searched for bifurcations. Finding that each model does exhibit a supercritical Hopf bifurcation, we performed a weakly nonlinear analysis near the bifurcation points to derive the Stuart-Landau amplitude equation. To illustrate a common dynamical structure, we scaled the numerical solutions to the models with the asymptotic solutions to the Stuart-Landau equation to collapse the circadian oscillations onto two universal curves-one for amplitude, and one for frequency. However, some models are close to bifurcation while others are far, some models are post-bifurcation while others are pre-bifurcation, and kinetic parameters that lead to a bifurcation in some models do not lead to a bifurcation in others. Future kinetic modeling can make use of our analysis to ensure models are consistent with each other and with the dynamics of the Arabidopsis circadian rhythm.


PMID: 34657966





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Journal of Mathematical Biology