Plant Development and Signal Transduction
The sessile nature of plants makes these organisms very versatile and plastic in growing and adapting to a broad range and changing environmental conditions. This versatility relies on the interactions between the plant genomes and the changing environment.
A major challenge in biological research, and a common goal of the program, is to understand how this interaction works, i.e., to understand the genetic, molecular, and mechanistic basis of these interactions. We study developmental aspects related to light perception, photoperiod, circadian clock, hormone signaling, floral transition, flower development and seed development and germination. We also focus on the transcriptional, posttranscriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate these processes.
Our studies employ molecular, genetic, biochemical and cell biology based approaches in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana to understand plant biology. We are also developing (1) comparative approaches that determine whether the mechanisms discovered in Arabidopsis are also important in other plant species and (2) system biology approaches to tackle with the complexity of plants. We expect that a long-term outcome of our work will provide potential targets to improve crop yields and boost agricultural sustainability.