ViPS Invited Seminar September 2017

Bert de Rybel, VIB Center for Plant Systems Biology, University of Ghent, Belgium

Date: 13th September 2017

Time: 13:15

Title: Controlling cell division orientation during vascular proliferation in plants

Location: Korona Infocentre, seminar room 4, Viikinkaari 11

Host: Ari Pekka Mähönen

Abstract: The plant vascular system develops from a handful of provascular initial cells in the early embryo into a whole range of different cell types in the mature plant. In order to account for such proliferation and to generate this kind of diversity, vascular tissue development relies on a large number of highly oriented cell divisions. Control of these divisions occurs in part through the TARGET OF MONOPTEROS 5/ LONESONE HIGHWAY (TMO5/LHW) dimers of bHLH transcription factors and their homologs. The cytokinin (CK) biosynthetic gene LONELY GUY4 (LOG4) and its close homolog LOG3 were identified as direct targets of the TMO5/LHW dimer complex, indicating that CK biosynthesis plays a crucial role in this developmental process. Here, I will highlight our current progress in understanding how cell division orientation is controlled during vascular development.

Bert graduated from the faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University in 2005 before starting his PhD research in the group of prof. Tom Beeckman focusing on early lateral root development. For his post-doc, he moved to the lab of prof. Dolf Weijers at Wageningen University in early 2010 funded by Marie-Curie and FEBS post-doc grants. Here he initiated work on early vascular development. He received a prestigious NWO VIDI grant to continue this line of research in an independent manner. Early 2015, Bert moved back to the Department of Plant Systems Biology of VIB/Ghent University funded by an FWO Odysseus II grant to work as a project leader on vascular development. Very recently, Bert De Rybel was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and from 2017 onwards he is group leader of the ‘Vascular Development’ lab within VIB and was appointed associate professor at Ghent University.

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Relevant publications:

De Rybel B., Mähönen A.P., Helariutta Y. and Weijers D. (2016) Plant vascular development: from early specification to differentiation. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 17, 30-40.

- Smet W. and De Rybel B. (2016). Genetic and hormonal control of vascular tissue proliferation. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 29, 50-56.

- Vera-Sirera F., De Rybel B., Úrbez C., Kouklas E., Pesquera M., Álvarez-Mahecha J.C., Minguet E.G., Tuominen H., Carbonell J., Borst J.W., Weijers D. and Blázquez M.A. (2015). A bHLH-based feedback loop restricts vascular cell proliferation in plants. Dev. Cell 35, 432-443.

De Rybel B., Adibi M., Breda A.S., Wendrich J.S., Smit M.E., Novák O., Yamaguchi N., Yoshida S., Van Isterdael G., Palovaara J., Nijsse B., Boekschoten M.V., Hooiveld G., Beeckman T., Wagner D., Ljung K., Fleck C. and Weijers D.* (2014). Integration of growth and patterning during vascular tissue formation in Arabidopsis. Science 345, 1255215.

De Rybel B., Möller B., Yoshida S., Grabowicz I., Barbier de Reuille P., Boeren S., Smith R.S., Borst J.W. and Weijers D. (2013). A bHLH complex controls embryonic vascular tissue establishment and indeterminate growth in Arabidopsis. Dev. Cell 24, 426-437.