Systems Biology and the Biology of Systems: how, if at all are they related?

17th New Phytologist Symposium

17th NPS Abstracts Book


According to Kitano ‘Systems biology is an emergent field that aims at system-level understanding of biological systems.’ The word ‘systems’ appears three times in the definition.

Most biologists, particularly those working at the physiological or ecological level, think they have always aimed for ‘system-level understanding’. What is new about Systems Biologysensu Kitano? It seeks to bring together understanding of structure (in terms of gene and biochemical networks), system dynamics (involving predictive modelling), system control methods and system design. But crop scientists, ecologists, developmental biologists and the like who use tools such as ‘omics’, large-scale data-capture, informatics and modelling will say that they are also concerned with such ‘systems’ properties.

So what is the relationship between Systems Biology and The Biology of Systems? This meeting, which brings together researchers in plant systems biology with plant scientists who work on physiological, developmental, ecological and agronomic systems, seeks to provide answers to this question.


Symposium format

The symposium will take place over two days at the Palace Hotel, Buxton, Derbyshire, UK. Ten invited talks will form the basis of discussion at what will be a relatively small meeting (up to 75 participants) which we hope will provide an ideal and informal atmosphere for the stimulation and exchange of ideas and the building of collaborations.



If you would like to receive further information relating to this meeting please get in touch with Helen Pinfield-Wells (New Phytologist) –

New Phytologist Central Office
Bailrigg House
Lancaster University
LA1 4YE, UK.
Tel: +44 1524 594 691
Fax: +44 1524 594 696