Introduction

gejaeGeert De Jaeger leads the Functional Interactomics Group. Biological structures and functions are generally accomplished by networks of short- and long-term molecular interactions. As a discipline, functional interactomics aims to map system-wide molecular interactions and analyze their function. Initially focused on protein-protein interactions, the field is rapidly expanding towards other interaction types, such as those between proteins and nucleic acids, or between proteins and metabolites.
A major part of our research is to develop and fine tune interactomics tools for plant research, and more specifically for the discovery of protein-protein interactions and interactions between proteins and nucleic acids. At the core of our technology lies affinity purification of macromolecular complexes. The advantage of this approach is that interactions are discovered in situ.
These tools are applied to gather knowledge on cell growth and proliferation control in plants, and as such discover new approaches for the engineering of plant growth. Cell growth and proliferation play a key role in plant growth and development. We want to map protein complexes involved in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation and analyse their function. The tools to accomplish this are described in more detail below.