beryb

Bert De Rybel leads the Vascular Development Group. The development of vascular tissues was one of the most important evolutionary adaptations that allowed plants to grow in environments other than water and to populate the land. Vascular tissues provide mechanical support and facilitate the transport of water, nutrients, hormones and other signaling molecules throughout the plant. These functions have enabled land plants to grow beyond the size of mosses. Early land plants adopted a tissue organization comprising three major tissue types, which can be found in almost all organs: the outer epidermis, ground tissues and centrally localized vascular tissues. This organization proved to be evolutionarily very successful, as it is still found in leaves, stems and roots of most modern land plants.
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This project focusses on identifying novel factors downstream of the TMO5/LHW complex and understanding how the known players interact to control common or distinct downstream events. This is done using both forward and reverse genetics; bulk and single cell RNA sequencing approaches.

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As many cell files need to be formed during vascular development, it is crucial to understand how plants control the orientations of their cell divisions. In this project we aim to understand this by using genetic and chemical genetics approaches.

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It is clear the TMO5/LHW heterodimer has a role in controlling vascular cell proliferation in higher plants. In this project, we want to understand if these factors are present in lower plants and if so, what the ancestral function of these transcription factors could be.

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Technological advances allow us to continuously increase the depth of our transcriptome and proteome analyses. Our lab aims to use the most state-of-the-art approaches to provide answers to the biological questions we are focusing on.

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We warmly welcome spontaneous applications to join our research team. We routinely train BSc and MSc students and regularly have open positions for both PhD students and post-docs. Please contact us for the latest information.