Van Hautegem Tom

Postdoctoral fellow @ Systems Biology of Yield

Graduated as a biologist in 2009, I started a PhD in the Moritz Nowack lab in 2010. During my PhD, I dissected the molecular networks controlling programmed cell death during plant development, mainly focusing on cell death processes in the endosperm during seed development, and in the lateral root cap. After obtaining my PhD in December 2014, I preferred to do some more applied research and joined the Systems Biology of Yield lab headed by Dirk Inzé and Hilde Nelissen. Since climate change is affecting the food supply, as a postdoctoral researcher my passion and research interest is to contribute to the development of climate resilient crops for a sustainable agriculture. In addition to the industrial projects I am involved in, I am performing some more fundamental research. To gain insights into the ingenious mechanisms that plants developed to cope with changing environmental conditions, I analyzed maize leaf growth under mild drought and re-watering conditions. The knowledge obtained in this project about the inherent plant mechanisms dealing with temporal adverse conditions will strengthen our attempts to stabilize crop yield in a changing climate.
In a second project, I am examining the molecular/enzymatic function of two growth-promoting genes by a metabolomics approach. Finally, this might lead to applications as biostimulants to further increase yield.
In the future, I would like to share my technical experience with other people and would like to guide them in choosing the right strategy. In this way, I would like to proceed to combine my technical and management skills as a scientist.

Contact information

Office: Technologiepark 71, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
Office Phone: +32(0)93313529


Programmed Cell Death Controlled by ANAC033/SOMBRERO Determines Root Cap Organ Size in Arabidopsis.
Fendrych, M., Van Hautegem, T., Van Durme, M., Olvera-Carrillo, Y., Huysmans, M., Karimi, M., Lippens, S., Guérin, CJ., Krebs, M., Schumacher, K., Nowack, MK.
Only in dying, life: programmed cell death during plant development.
Van Hautegem, T., Waters, AJ., Goodrich, J., Nowack, MK.
A conserved core of programmed cell death indicator genes discriminates developmentally and environmentally induced programmed cell death in plants.
Olvera-Carrillo, Y., Van Bel, M., Van Hautegem, T., Fendrych, M., Van Durme, M., Huysmans, M., Šimášková, M., Buscaill, P., Rivas, S., Coll, NS., Maere, S., Coppens, F., Nowack, MK.
Altered expression of maize PLASTOCHRON1 enhances biomass and seed yield by extending cell division duration.
Sun, X., Cahill, J., Van Hautegem, T., Feys, K., Whipple, C., Novák, O., Delbare, S., Versteele, C., Demuynck, K., De Block, J., Storme, V., Claeys, H., Van Lijsebettens, M., Coussens, G., Ljung, K., De Vliegher, A., Muszynski, M., Inzé D., Nelissen, H.
From laboratory to field: yield stability and shade avoidance genes are massively differentially expressed in the field.
Nelissen, H., Sprenger, H., Demuynck, K., De Block, J., Van Hautegem, T., De Vliegher, A., Inzé, D.