"Molecular Mechanisms of Plant Development
1)Basic principle of developmental Biology
a) differences and similarities between Animal and Plant development.
b) pattern formation (genetic networks controlling apical-basal and radial axis).
c) how to create a morphogenetic gradient: regulation of the polar auxin transport and regulation of
plasmodesmata mediated intercellular trafficking.
2) Plant Stem cell niche
a) clonal analysis (CRE/LOX system, UAS/GAL4 system).
b) Molecular mechanisms controlling stem cell niche positioning: the antagonism between PLT and
c) molecular mechanisms involved in stem cell niche maintenance: WUS/CLV pathway, SHR/SCR
pathway, auxin pathway.
d) stem cell niche evolution from ferns to angiosperms.
e) molecular mechanisms controlling regeneration.
3) Cell differentiation
a) molecular mechanisms regulating transit amplifying cells, bistable circuits involving
b) molecular mechanisms regulating cell elongation and differentiation. Involvement of the
cytokinin pathway and CUC pathways.
c) hormones and cell-non autonomous mechanisms: molecular frameworks regulating auxin
d) molecular mechanisms involved in balancing cell division with cell differentiation, cytokinin
control of auxin distribution and gibberellin dependent regulation of ARR transcription factors.
4) Cell cycle and development
a) Differences and similarities in cell cycle regulators between animals and plants.
b) involvement of cell cycle in plant development, the role of CDKA and B in root development.
c) regulation of cell cycle during plant development: interaction between CYCD6;1 and RBr,
interaction between cytokinin and RBr.
5) microRNA and Plant development
a) Differences and similarities between animal miRNA and Plant miRNA.
b) methodologies to study miRNA activity in developmental biology.
b) Involvement of specific miRNA families in plant development.
a) approaches to study comparative development.
b) genomic variability and evolution (gene loss, interspecific differential cis and trans regulation
and enhancers variability in evo devo).
c) interspecific developmental variability of macroscopical and microscopical traits.
d) molecular mechanisms controlling interspecific morphological variability in evolution with
regards to RCO transcription factor and miR165/6/PHB antagonism.
e) molecular mechanisms controlling heterochrony: a case for FLC and miR156.
7) System Biology*
a) continuous and discontinuous computational models
b) computational modelling describing morphogenetic gradient
c) How to use computational modelling to predict organ growth
- Teacher: Raffaele Dello Ioio