Joint Calls

Integrated analysis of stem cell function in plant growth and development

  • Acronym Plant Stem Cell Network
  • Duration 1 November 2007 - 1 November 2010
  • Project leader James Murray, Cardiff University, UK
  • Other project participants Yrjö Helariutta, University of Helsinki, Finland
    Thomas Laux, University of Freiburg, Germany
    Ben Scheres, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
    Aurélio Campilho, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Funding The Academy of Finland (AKA), Finland
    The German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany
    Netherlands Genomics Initiative / Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NGI/NWO), The Netherlands
    Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal
    Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), UK
  • Total Granted budget € 2,020,953


Stem cells are essential to the growth and development of plants and provide the ultimate origin of all agriculture and forestry. Although some key genes required for the establishment and maintenance of stem cells are identified, we lack information on the networks governing cell differentiation and cell cycle of different stem cell populations, on how these mechanisms determine common and specific behaviours of the different stem cell groups and how they integrate stem cell activity with changing environmental
This proposal integrates the work of world-leading labs that perform key research on stem cell populations of the shoot, root and vascular meristems, cell cycle control, growth modelling and image analysis. Europe has a global lead in plant stem cell research and cell division control, and this proposal
will integrate the research of the different labs involved, creating new synergies and substantial added value. New tools and strategies combining genomics, reverse genetics, smart genetic screens, and novel
cell biology will be exploited to address the key issue of how specification of stem cell regions by transcription factors translates to cellular mechanisms for division and differentiation and identify common and distinct regulatory networks in different stem cell populations.

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