We are interested in genes that determine plant morphology at the post organ formation level, i.e. genes that influence the time and location of organ formation and organ shape, but that are not really needed to build an organ. We preferentially isolate such genes by exploiting the natural morphological variation that reflects natural genetic variation in the model system Arabidopsis thaliana. We investigate the mode of action of these genes using a large range of genetic, biochemical and cell biological techniques.
The ultimate goal of our research is something that we could call, en vogue, vertical systems biology: a complete description of the genes of interest in terms of their biochemical and cell biological activity, their physiology, their genetics, their role in ontogeny and their ecological and evolutionary significance. We hope that some of the genes we identify will also contribute to applied aspects of plant science, such as the manipulation and optimisation of plant biomass production for sustainable development. Please choose from the menu on the left to learn more about some of the individual projects going on in our lab!