frbreSuboptimal growth conditions caused by drought, temperature, salt and pathogen-related stresses are leading to worldwide yield losses in cultivated crops. It is anticipated that these issues become even bigger in the future, as climatic changes will cause more temperature and drought stress, and, in the meantime, the demand for plants for food, feed and bioenergy is increasing. Obviously, this encouraged the search and development of appropriate breeding strategies and has made crop stress tolerance a major objective in plant biotechnology research.

oxidizing agentReactive Oxygen Species (ROS), causing oxidative stress, were long considered as harmful by-products of (diseased) metabolism. However, recently they have emerged as important regulators of plant stress responses.

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Ghent bio economyThe Oxidative Stress and Signaling group participates in the UGent Multidisciplinary Research Project “Biotechnology for a Sustainable Economy”. One of the cornerstones of this project is the metabolic engineering of plants to improve their properties for the biobased economy.

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handshakeWe are engaged in research agreements with Bayer BioScience NV, the Flemish agro-biotech innovation center of Bayer CropScience. Through this collaboration, the researchers aim to elucidate the mechanisms that indicate how plants handle stress.

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scissorsProteases play crucial roles in stress acclimation and cell death in plants. Degradomics – mapping the substrates and cleavage sites of proteases – was only recently applied to plants, but will be crucial to understand the impact of proteases during stress acclimation and cell death.

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