The group of Prof. Dr. Jenny Russinova uncovered a novel mechanism in plants that controls an important decision step in stomatal lineage to divide asymmetrically or to differentiate. This is a decisive step for the formation of stomata, tiny pores on the plant surface, produced by asymmetric cell division. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana they identified a scaffolding protein, POLAR, and demonstrated that POLAR brings a subset of GSK3-like kinases to their interacting partners at the polarized end of the stomatal precursor cell to initiate asymmetric cell division. This surprising regulation through scaffolding might be a more common mechanism to control GSK3-like kinases functions in plants.

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Prof. Alain Goossens and his team will have an important contribution to ENDOSCAPE by designing and optimizing a sustainable plant-based production pipeline of endosomal endoscape enhancers. The team of Alain Goossens will establish plant (hairy) root and hydroponic plant production lines from the medicinal plants that naturally produce the endosomal endoscape enhancers. Furthermore, they will genetically engineer these plant and/or root lines for enhanced production of the endosomal endoscape enhancers.

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In his research, Lieven De Veylder aims at identifying mechanisms that link cell division with environmental stimuli. Both Anne Helfer (VIB Discovery Sciences) and Lieven De Veylder are engaged in a quest for new products.

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