Transcriptional regulation of growth and defense - Molecular Biology

Insect herbivory and plant pathogens can cause severe crop losses. Plants can defend themselves against these attackers, but this generally reduces their growth. We explore the regulation of the balance between growth and defense in plants. The results can be used to develop resistant crops with decreased yield loss.

Arabidopsis & tomato

We have found transcription factors that regulate growth and defense in Arabidopsis and would like to understand their molecular mode of action. Therefore, we look at which proteins interact with and which genes are regulated by these transcription factors. Then we determine the significance of the interaction proteins and target genes for growth and defense by creating mutants and analysing them.
In addition, we apply our knowledge from Arabidopsis in tomato by making CRISPR-Cas9 mutations in the tomato transcription factor genes and analysing the effects of these mutations.

Main techniques

DNA/RNA isolation, qPCR, Golden Gate cloning, plant phenotyping, split-luciferase, tobacco leaf infiltration, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, Arabidopsis and tomato transformation, tissue culture, Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy.

If you are interested in joining or getting more information you can send an email to Anneke Horstman.