Research themes: Our team is working on different aspects of cell adhesion in plants. We study how cells remain attached during growth and development in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana, and investigate how mechanical forces influence this process. We also study the role of the plant cytoskeleton and cell wall chemical and mechanical properties.
In parallel we also study the formation and elongation of the wood fiber cells in poplar. These cells expand by a very particular process of intrusive growth which requires a tight control of cell adhesion and is also believed to be influence by mechanical signals. This research could lead to the generation of trees with higher fiber length and wood quality.
Approaches: To study these questions we used a large range of techniques. From classical molecular biology (PCR, q-PCR, genetic constructs, CRISPR), high resolution live imaging (Confocal microscopy), image analysis, micromechanical characterization (Atomic Force Microscopy, extensometer), to computational simulations (Finite Element simulations).
Internship subject: Based on your own interest, we can discuss a range of master thesis subjects (within the research theme of the lab) that would match the type of subject that you would like to study and method that you would like to work with.