Plants are highly influenced by the surrounding environmental changes, which shape growth and development over the entire plant life cycle. Elucidating how internal and external cues are coordinated to spatially and temporally regulate plant development is essential for understanding plant optimum fitness and reproductive success.
Research in our Program aims to gain in-depth fundamental knowledge on the molecular and cellular determinants governing plant signaling and development. We use multifaceted and integrative approaches, from cells, tissues and organs all the way to the whole plant. Our research focuses on environmental cues, mainly light and temperature, and endogenous pathways such as hormone and circadian signalling, to examine their effect on multiple developmental processes, from seed germination or root development to floral induction. Molecular mechanisms involving non-coding RNA molecules and post-translational regulation of protein function are also topics covered in our Program. We employ a combination of molecular, genetic, biochemical, and computational approaches using Arabidopsis thaliana as well as a variety of other species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Sorghum bicolor.
Ultimately, our Program aims to obtain a comprehensive understanding of how plants grow, develop and evolve in coordination with the surrounding environment. The drastic environmental changes imposed by climate alteration negatively impact the productivity of agronomically important crops. A detailed and predictive understanding of plant growth and development will be essential to tackle these negative effects.