liveyLieven De Veylder leads the Cell Cycle Group. Correct regulation of the cell cycle is of crucial importance during the development of all multi-cellular organisms. Although for all organisms it is the goal to divide only if the DNA has been replicated correctly and without damage, years of research have revealed many differences between the ways animals and plants control their cell cycle. The group aims to understand how cell-cycle control genes drive plant cell proliferation, and to elucidate how cell division control interacts with different aspects of plant development, such as morphogenesis, architecture and growth, both under control and stress conditions. Identifying the underlying mechanisms that control cell division might open opportunities to adjust plant size, yield, and architecture.

Endocycle project imageIn many plant species, exit from the division cycle is accompanied by the onset of endoreplication representing a modified version of the normal mitotic cell cycle during which DNA is replicated without mitosis. Endoreplication typically occurs in large, metabolically active, and highly specialized cells, although it can be found as well in cells that do not match this description.
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DNA integrity project imageGenome integrity of cells is threatened by DNA damage that is consequence of environmental or endogenous origins. To cope with these stress conditions, cells have developed a set of surveillance mechanisms that monitor the status and structure of DNA during cell cycle progression.
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Diatom project imageDiatoms are predominant unicellular organisms in marine and freshwater ecosystems that encounter intense variations in their environment. Thus, in order to survive, diatoms must be able to control their cell and life cycle rhythms to a variety of different conditions.

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