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  Morphogenesis, Signaling, Modeling
  Dynamics and Expression of plant Genomes
  Adaptation of Plants to the Environment
  Reproduction and Seeds
  Plant cell wall, function and utilization
  administrative team
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The activities of the MSM department "morphogenesis, signaling, modeling" are dedicated to the study of the mechanisms of plant morphogenesis. Our studies are focused primarily on the cellular level (control of cell division, cell polarity ...) but also extend to the whole plant (eg signaling between organs). We are interested in the issues of totipotency and cell differentiation in the plant but also in vitro. We use modeling approaches to better understand these complex phenomena.
The teams from the MSM department not only work on biological models such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium or the moss Physcomitrella patens but also on species of agronomic interest such as pea or cotton. We mainly use classical approaches of genetics and functional genomics complemented by methods of biochemistry and chemistry. We exploit many imaging techniques for which we develop novel quantitative approaches. The purpose of our work is a better understanding of plant development in order to propose innovative strategies to improve plant resources and their uses. This happens, for example by modifying plant architecture, and further upstream, by improving processing techniques and regeneration.

Teams :

The team « Cell to Cell adhesion and Communication » studies the network of polysaccharides, plant cell wall components linking the cells together, to better understand mechanisms responsible for cohesion during the cellular dynamics all along the growth and the development of the plant. The group uses the model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachychion concerning respectively dicotyledonous and grasses. More recently, rice, a crop plant, is also studied.

The team « Biology of the Cell and Regeneration » is focused on control of regeneration technics by organogenesis or somatic embryogenesis and genes transfer to in vitro grown plant cells. Objectives concern fundamental uses (transient activities, "knock-out"...) or more focused studies (resistance to abiotic stresses, biomass use…). Model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon and also agronomical important crops sorghum and cotton are the studied species. The group is involved in a project aimed to characterize cell regenerating transcriptome profiles (organogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana and somatic embryogenesis in cotton).

The team « Spatial control of cell division » In higher plants, the cytoskeleton steadily undergoes structural reorganizations which accompany and/or determine every stage in cell division, elongation and differentiation. Our aim is to characterize cellular activities and regulation networks involved in the organization of microtubule arrays during the cell cycle in land plants. Our studies are focused on entry into mitosis and premitotic determination of the division plane in plant cells. We try to clarify the role of the preprophase band, a specific feature of plant cells, and more generally to explore the links between the microtubule cytoskeleton and the cell cycle machinery. Recent results of the group have revealed a large regulatory complex (TTP) composed of several protein partners. The recruitment of the TTP complex to the cytoskeleton, and its activity at the G2/M transition are necessary for division plane determination and PPB formation in Arabidopsis and moss. This complex also plays a pivotal role in the organization of the interphase array during diffuse growth.

The team « Branching control in plants » aims to have a better understanding of the genetic, molecular and physiological factors that control axillary buds outgrowth or dormancy. In particular, we focus on the biosynthesis and the signaling pathways of a novel class of phytohormones, the strigolactones, which inhibit branching. Our work is based on a large collection of pea mutants specifically affected in stem branching. The same genes are studied in the moss Physcomitrella patens, to better understand the evolution of strigolactone function in land plants.

The team « Cell differentiation and polarity » studies cellular mechanisms of development associated to the acquisition of cell identity thought two models: tumor mutants and phloem ontogenesis. The group is focused on the role of fatty acids on cell differentiation and polarity, particularly on biosynthesis, compartmentalization and the role of long chain fatty acids in general and more precisely sphingolipids. Role of palmitoylation is also studied.

The team « Transcription factors and plant architecture » focuses on the mechanisms controlling the morphogenesis of the aerial part of plants and on their evolution. For this, we study the function of two families of transcription factors (homeodomain proteins of the TALE family proteins and NAM / CUC proteins regulated by the microRNA miR164) in the development of meristems, leaves and flowers in Arabidopsis and other species.

The team « Modeling and Digitial Imaging » develops methods, algorithms and tools for processing, analyzing and modeling data generated, primarily, by biological imaging techniques. We aim, on the one hand, at unraveling principles of spatial organization and, on the other hand, at understanding the factors and mechanisms that subtend these principles. Our activity is thus at the intersection of image processing and analysis, spatial statistics, and modeling.

The team « Chromatin dynamics and signalling » aims to better understand developmental and environmental signalling mechanisms, and their interplay with chromatin dynamics and nuclear architecture, to approach the delicate equilibrium between signalling pathways. To do so, we exploit different biological contexts.





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