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Projects - dr. RA (Ruud) de Maagd

Tomato development and Regulatory network of MADS-box transcription factors (Xiaowei Wang) 

MADS-domain proteins are important transcription factors involved in many biological processes of plants, but an in-depth characterization of their unique and redundant functions is lacking for tomato fruit. By applying CRISPR/Cas and RNAi technologies, we can generate single knockout mutants and combinations thereof to unveil the molecular regulatory network of MADS-domain proteins with other TFs in fruit development and ripening. 

In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), several MIKC-type MADS-domain proteins, such as FUL1, FUL2, MADS-RIN, TAGL1, and MADS1, playing a role in fruit development and ripening have been identified via CRISPR/Cas or RNAi. We aim to elucidate further the tomato fruit development and ripening regulation exerted by MADS-box TFs and their interactions among each other and with other related genes. Detailed phenotyping for macroscopic, microscopic, and molecular fruit aspects of different MADS-box mutants is needed to test their redundancy in the regulation of fruit development, and we also will analyze the temporal and spatial expression of candidates to identify specific targets and co-factors. In addition, the effects of different interaction complexes on target promoter activity will be tested in various combinations, and four natural variations in FUL1 and different splicing variants in MADS1, and RIN are of interest to us. Altogether, we aim to develop a refined regulatory model for tomato fruit. 

All work is performed on tomato, which is a lovely, fresh and important model crop! So if you’d like to work on one of these projects with me, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail! 

Used skills 

  • Basic molecular biology techniques (PCR, cloning, restriction enzyme etc.)  

  • Plant transformation and tissue culture 

  • Mutant analysis & plant phenotyping (macroscopic and microscopic) 

  • Interaction analysis (Promoter-reporter assay, Y3H, etc.)