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Sébastjen Schoenaers

  • Research interest:I study the fundamental mechanisms that control plant growth with emphasis on the auxin-driven signaling pathways that control cell wall rheology and cell wall sensing during cell elongation. Using tip-growing cells (pollen tubes, root hairs) as a model, I study receptor-like kinase signaling at the plasma membrane/cell wall interface. My work relies on a diverse set of techniques, including high resolution live-cell imaging of protein, ion- and cell wall dynamics, the study of protein-protein interaction, -omic analysis and cell wall characterization.
  • Disciplines:Plant cell and molecular biology, Plant developmental and reproductive biology
  • Research techniques:My work routinely involves:- advanced live-cell imaging of protein, ion- and cell wall dynamics during cell growth- temporal subcellular analysis of oscillatory ion and cell wall behaviour- cell wall characterization (immunolocalization, FT-IR)- molecular biology (cloning, PCR, qPCR)- omics (transcriptomics, proteomics, phosphoproteomics)- bio-informatics- development and implementation of novel techniques (e.g. microfluidics, imaging and analysis protocols)
  • Users of research expertise:My expertise is uniquely complementary to biological research aimed at understanding all levels of plant biological organization, from gene to plant community. E.g., we have the tools to study plant-microbe interaction in a controlled environment (microfluidics/imaging), and the response of the root system to a virtually unlimited set of biotic and abiotic stressors/interactions. Moreover, we can provide an in-depth characterization of primary and secondary cell wall composition, dynamics and rheology. A fundamental understanding of cell wall biology translates to crucial knowledge for industrial applications (e.g. biofuel and biomaterials).