Research objectives and content
The primary research interest of this project is focused on
characterising the molecular and biochemical details of the process of plant cell determination/differentiation. For that purpose I have been studying the trans-differentiation of Zinnia mesophyll cells into tracheary elements (TE) in culture medium. The point of determination, in which the cells irreversibly enter a differentiation pathway to TEs, has been experimentally characterised and can be controlled. This will be the reference point to use the cDNA-AFLP technique which will facilitate the identification and isolation of genes up- or down-regulated at the very early stages of differentiation as well as during or at the end of the process. The differentially induced cDNAs will be used further to study their role in the determination/differentiation process. This will expand into immunolocalisation and in ssitu analysis in cell cultures and in intact plants and to expression studies of key genes identified, as well as to obtain genomic clones.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
My current work with differential screening has already identified two genes of interest, a pectate lyase and a PRP, that are regulated early in cell determination. The new project will build on this secure foundation but will enable me to learn, develop and deploy the very new and powerful technology offered by cDNA-AFLP. It is ideally suited for this project and has not yet, to my knowledge, been used in this area. It offers a real chance to gain experience in this area which will benefit both partners in the collaboration as well as my own scientific career. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)The identification of a large cDNA collection related to early events in xylem differentiation will be of interest to numerous European tree breeding, paper and based industries. Links with industry/industrial relevance(22)
The identification of a large cDNA collection related to early events in xylem differentation will be of interest to numerous European tree breeding, paper and baded industries.