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Dissecting the molecular mechanisms that execute developmental programmed cell death in plants

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EXECUT.ER project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EXECUT.ER project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EXECUT.ER" about.

developmental    organisms    hypothesis    cells    light    onset    avenues    vital    shed    super    team    orderly    improvement    innovative    gene    breaks    temporal    techniques    protection    resolution    technologies    single    unexpected    microscopy    proteins    revealing    mechanisms    proteomics    sequencing    functions    quantum    unparalleled    plants    crispr    crop    preliminary    multiplex    membrane    arabidopsis    unprecedented    acting    live    central    programmed    health    endoplasmic    fundamental    final    significance    direct    overcome    unknown    lethality    underlying    data    lastly    redundancy    employ    undoubted    enabled    plant    death    despite    irreversible    me    context    root    route    multicellular    spatial    tissue    regulatory    reproduction    cap    correlative    network    leap    terminate    screens    hypothesize    genes    preparation    de    events    rna    permeabilization    mutagenesis    genetic    mechanism    pcd    vacuole    succession    fragmentary    rapid    compartmentalization    reticulum    model    accessibility    molecular    developmentally    cell    electron    sequential   

Project "EXECUT.ER" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 9052

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 1˙999˙963 €
 EC max contribution 1˙999˙963 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-06-01   to  2025-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    VIB VZW BE (ZWIJNAARDE - GENT) coordinator 1˙999˙963.00


 Project objective

Programmed Cell Death (PCD) is fundamental to the development and health of multicellular organisms. However, our knowledge on developmentally controlled PCD in plants remains fragmentary, despite its undoubted significance for plant growth and reproduction. My team has established the Arabidopsis root cap as a novel model system for developmental PCD in plants. This model has enabled us to identify a gene regulatory network controlling the preparation of PCD. However, the molecular processes that terminate the vital functions of a plant cell during the final steps of PCD execution remain unknown. Exploiting the accessibility of the root cap for live-cell analysis of PCD execution, we obtained preliminary data revealing an unexpected succession of distinct membrane permeabilization events in which the endoplasmic reticulum breaks up before the central vacuole. I hypothesize that this sequential de-compartmentalization is the mechanism underlying the irreversible and orderly execution of PCD. Recent advances in several key technologies provide unprecedented opportunities to test this hypothesis and make a quantum leap in our understanding of the mechanisms carrying out PCD execution. I will employ correlative super-resolution light and electron microscopy to analyse PCD execution in unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution. RNA sequencing of single cells at the onset of PCD execution will provide information on the genes that are required for this rapid process. Advanced proteomics techniques will provide a direct route to identify proteins acting on membrane permeabilization during PCD execution. Lastly, multiplex and tissue-specific mutagenesis via innovative CRISPR screens will enable me to overcome genetic redundancy and lethality in the PCD context. The detailed understanding of plant PCD execution generated by this research program will shed light on a fundamental principle of plant development and open new avenues for crop improvement and protection.

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