We are very glad to share with you that on the 12th and 13th of September 2018, we will be hosting “Agrobacterium 2018”, a joint event of the 39th American Crown Gall meeting and 2nd European Agrobacterium conference at the VIB/UGent Department of Plant Systems Biology in Ghent, Belgium.

You can find information about the conference here.

You can download the flyer here to spread the word.



The EU-funded NEWCOTIANA project combines several new plant breeding techniques to produce medical and cosmetic products in tobacco plants. Alain Goossens and his team are actively involved in this new international research and innovation action. 

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To ease the industrial processing of plant biomass into energy, plants are engineered to contain less lignin. Unfortunately, this intervention typically leads to reduced yield. Researchers at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology have now discovered a way to overcome this problem. Moreover, the used strategy does not just restore the biomass yield. It increases the yield beyond that of wild-type plants. The findings of their study are an important step in the development of feedstock for biofuels and other bio-based materials. The results are published in the leading scientific journal Plant Physiology.


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The Plant Journal, has recently initiated annual awards to the best papers in each of the three categories of articles published in the journal. The papers were voted for by the Editorial Board from a longlist drawn up from download rates and ‘Altmetric’ scores. Following paper has been awarded a Gold prize:

Vaneechoutte, D., Estrada, A. R., Lin, Y.-C., Loraine, A. E. and Vandepoele, K. (2017) Genome-wide characterization of differential transcript usage in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 92, 1218–1231

On October 24, 2017, the U.S. News and World Report released their Best Global Universities ranking, which is produced using content and analytics from Web of Science and InCites. The rankings evaluate the top 1,250 research universities – up from 1,000 last year – spread across 74 countries. Ghent University is fifth in this list of universities renowned in research related to the field of plant and animal. This is the fantastic merit of many colleagues who are employed by or associated with the Ghent University Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and the Faculty of Sciences, the ILVO and the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology. Together with the many Agrotech companies, Ghent is a very important hub worldwide, which will only increase in the coming years. The growing world population, climate change, and the need for a more sustainable agriculture are enormous challenges that we need to solve. By combining our strengths in the future, we can put the Ghent Agrotech cluster on the map.

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