How to build a plant's organs: the ancient foundation uncovered in the fern Ceratopteris richardii

Project: PhD

Project Details


Plant developmental research has focused mainly on angiosperm species and recently also on bryophytes. In my project I will use and develop the fern Ceratopteris richardii as model for vascular development as it provides best of both angiosperms and bryophytes. Similar to bryophytes, it has a relatively simple body plan and developmental while it has the complex organs (e.g. leaves, vasculature) which we see in angiosperms. The exact molecular mechanisms that allow the evolution and specification of vascular tissue in angiosperms remained elusive so far. Therefore, I will try to better understand the crucial factors that are necessary in (1) an evolutionary sense by using the fern Ceratopteris and (2) by using embryogenesis as a developmental origin. Therefore, I will perform an elaborate RNA-seq experiment on Ceratopteris embryogenesis to pinpoint which molecular factors are co-expressed or initiate vascular specification in the early embryo. I will further validate these identified factors by utilizing and developing reverse genetics for this novel model species. Together, this will hopefully help us better understand the crucial factors necessary for vascular development but also its evolution in all land plants.
Effective start/end date8/02/21 → …


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