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Vacuolar Transport equipment for growth regulation in plants

Final Activity Report Summary - VATEP (Vacuolar Transport Equipment for Growth Regulation in Plants)

The central aim of the VATEP project was the analysis of plant growth processes and the underlying biochemical processes. The network specifically targeted intracellular transport proteins to unravel their specific functions with respect to plant growth processes. Plant growth is a fundamental biological process that impacts food production and landscape structuring, and is highly relevant for the goal of an integrated and sustainable agriculture in the EU. Growth is a highly coordinated process involving multiple scales, ranging from molecular entities through cellular structures to the whole-tissue and organ level. Environmental cues also strongly affect growth of higher plants. The interdisciplinary program has been coordinated by Prof. Dr. Bernd Mueller-Roeber, Dr Katrin Czempinski and Dr Regina Gerber, University of Potsdam. Partner groups from Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic were participants.

The VATEP RTN offered a structured 3 year training for European PhD students. PhD students have been trained in a biological discipline that covers multiple levels and links molecular events to whole-tissue growth in plants. It offered measures to develop skills and competencies in various technological and innovative aspects. Young researchers were additionally trained in a number of complementary skills, including project management and financing, IP rights, communication, and entrepreneurship. The training program included the scientific work on their PhD project, individual working visits at other partner institutions to learn additional techniques, and network-wide workshops which have been organized by the VATEP partner groups. Moreover the students participated in several international conferences and workshops and presented their results and projects to the scientific community.

Training within the VATEP RTN qualified young researchers to perform R&D projects both in the public and private sector and to achieve leading positions. The Young researchers are currently either appointed by their VATEP institution or received job offers as scientists in other European countries or India (in one case).