tobeeTom Beeckman leads the Root Development Group. The root system of Arabidopsis thaliana is an excellent model to study the relationship between cell cycle regulation and growth and development. Understanding this offers a great potential for altering root architecture and water uptake, allowing to design plants to survive under dryer conditions. The research of this group focuses on the formation of lateral root primordia in the pericycle to investigate how cell cycle regulation is involved in the initiation of new organs. Plant roots serve a multitude of functions. They anchor plants and supply them with water and nutrients and exchange various growth substances with the shoots. At the root-soil interface, numerous interactions between plants and their environment take place. The diversity of functions and broad range of interactions with the environment render the biology of roots complicated. During the last ten years, Arabidopsis thaliana has been proven to be an efficient model plant to study root development and time has come to extrapolate the obtained insights to crop species such as maize, a species that is currently also under investigation.
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LRI-Thumbnail webIn Arabidopsis thaliana, Lateral Root Initiation (LRI) is hallmarked by coordinated asymmetric divisions in adjacent xylem pole pericycle cells. Similar to many developmental processes, it is strongly regulated by the plant hormone auxin.

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LRI-Thumbnail webStudying root development at the macro- and micro- evolutionary scale was facilitated the ongoing amelioration of phenotyping techniques, the extent of plant accessions databases and the arise of next-generation sequencing. Two main strategies have been initiated in the Root Development group to investigate micro-evolution of root architecture in Arabidopsis, and macro-evolution of genetic determinants of lateral root development in different species.

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LRI_in_crops_thumbnail_webWithin the angiosperms, major differences in root architecture between dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants exist. We are working on the genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of the root system in major crop species.

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LRI-Thumbnail webOver the years, the Root Development lab has developed different techniques and protocols to achieve his goals. We provide here some descriptions and links towards the publications describing these.

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FACS_gfpGeneral information and technical specificities about the EPICS ALTRA Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting (FACS)

machine. This system allows rapid separation of large numbers of specific cell populations from protoplasted tissues with high purity, recovery and yield.
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TEM_Morph_AraRoot_web The Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) facility located on the campus ‘Ledeganck’ of the UGent is providing expertise in the use and application of transmission electron microscopy to serve biological or biomedical sciences.

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