Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - PLANT SYSTEMS BIOLOG (Training in plant systems biology)

Different plant systems biology projects were executed by the different fellows who had the opportunity to follow training in more than one research area to enhance the multidisciplinary nature of their training period. The training was done in the context of ongoing systems biology research programs, either spearheaded by a biological research group or by technology-oriented research group. Thirteen fellows, of which 69 % were female, were hired, for a total of 234 person months. Five of the thirteen recruited fellows were hired for 36 months and started their PhD research in our Department. They were all funded for another year by the VIB in order to allow them to finalise their PhD and obtain their diploma.

Joanna Boruc performs research into in vivo protein-protein interactions among the Arabidopsis core cell cycle players using a bimolecular fluorescent complementation assay (BiFC, split GFP), Amandine Radziejwoski studies the link between DNA damage repair and endoreduplication, Anagha Joshi studies regulatory networks to build model networks from expression data, Krysztof Wabnik uses the combination of mathematical and dynamic computer modelling to study local auxin gradients and their role in the establishment of cell polarity that is central to auxin-guided plant development, Tommaso Boccardi characterises new genes that might be active in the histone H2B monoubiquitination process and, as a consequence, in gene transcriptional activation.

Three fellows had training for 12 months in our department: Boris Parizot studied lateral root formation and identified and validated two tissue specific promoters in the protoxylem pole of the pericycle cells and demonstrated the intimate relationship between vascular tissue specification and lateral root initiation. Miriam Onrubio Ibanez has succeeded in pinpointing 30 potential regulators of Taxol biosynthesis, a well know anti-cancer drug. Aurelie Chapelle analysed Arabidopsis plants with mutations in the genes coding for glucosyltransferases and glucosidases in order to find mutants with altered lignin structure. Five fellows were trained for shorter periods in our department ranging from 3 to 7 months.

Besides the scientific and technological training in the lab itself, the fellows could also follow external training courses, went to conferences and workshops and were also given the opportunity to attend all weekly seminars in the department given by external speakers. The fellows were encouraged to present their results in their weekly group meetings and to present their results in a poster on all conferences and workshops they have attended. Their results were also published in 18 peer reviewed publications and many more are in preparation.

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