Plants are complex organisms that adapt to changes in their environment using an array of regulatory mechanisms that span across multiple levels of biological organization. Due to this complexity, it is difficult to predict emergent properties using conventional approaches that focus on single levels of biology such as the genome, transcriptome, or metabolome. Mathematical models of biological systems have emerged as useful tools for exploring pathways and identifying gaps in our current knowledge of biological processes. Identification of emergent properties, however, requires their vertical integration across biological scales through multiscale modeling. Multiscale models that capture and predict these emergent properties will allow us to predict how plants will respond to a changing climate and explore strategies for plant engineering. In this review, we (1) summarize the recent developments in plant multiscale modeling; (2) examine multiscale models of microbial systems that offer insight to potential future directions for the modeling of plant systems; (3) discuss computational tools and resources for developing multiscale models; and (4) examine future directions of the field.
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