Plants are crucial to mankind as they supply food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and renewable resources. Yet the processes by which they grow are poorly understood. Although some of the key factors involved in plant organ growth have already been identified, the circuitry that links the different levels of organisation (whole plant, organ, cell, molecular module, molecule) remains to be uncovered. Fortunately, for the first time, techniques exist or can be developed to characterise a multicellular system exhaustively at all relevant levels.
The main goals of AGRON-OMICS are
- to survey systematically with an array of high throughput methods what are the molecular components driving growth in the cells of a developing Arabidopsis leaf,
- to understand how these elements interact and coordinate their action across levels of organisation, and
- to explain quantitative growth phenotypes at the molecular level through inference and mathematical MODELLING, followed by further laboratory validation.
The partnership tackling these ambitious goals has two poles: BIOLOGY, the laboratories involved study the main known molecular pathways that regulate and implement leaf growth, including cell cycle, cell wall biosynthesis and remodelling, carbon and nitrogen metabolism, and photosynthesis; TECHNOLOGY, each of them offers a unique platform chosen to record variables describing Arabidopsis plant and growth, from the macroscopic analysis of leaf size and shape, to the in depth analysis of molecular cell components.
AGRON-OMICS will establish the infrastructure necessary to organise its multidisciplinary research programme, then to integrate and interpret a wide range of data sets. With a strong emphasis on DISSEMINATION, this project will create knowledge used in industrial applications and will yield data, tools, resources and novel technologies that will be released to the research community at large as soon as practically feasible.
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Funding SchemeIP - Integrated Project