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In this paper, joint routing, MAC and link layer optimization based on virtual MIMO techniques in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is studied. The minimum energy consumption as well as the optimum routing, MAC and link layer parameters are obtained by this cross-layer optimization. For the purpose of approaching the realistic system model, we extend the single source node into multiple source nodes, and analyze the optimal routing of minimizing total energy and transmission energy with or without the link adaptation in detail. The energy efficiency of different systems is also compared.