The research activities of the unit of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology can be grouped into four main axes:

Induced systemic resistance (ISR)

ISR is stimulated in plants by soil bacteria belonging to PGPR (Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria). This resistance is effective against a broad range of pathogens. Mechanisms of ISR are studied on tomato plants interacting with different PGPR, focusing on the oxylipin pathway. Research activities also concern the activation of systemic resistance by eliciting compounds, notably chitin and chitosan oligosaccharides.

Recombinant protein expression

The unit has a large experience of yeast expression systems (mainly Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris). New expression systems are being developed using green micro-algae as host (such as Scenedesmus obliquus).

In vitro plant tissue culture

The unit has also a very long experience of tissue culture for the multiplication of elite plants and for curing pathogens from asexually propagated crop plants. Besides offering services for outside companies or laboratories, studies are conducted on the rooting and the tuberization of in vitro grown plantlets. The unit has the capacity to assay different plant-growth regulators (auxins, cytokinins, polyamines, ethylene, jasmonates and salicylates).

Secondary metabolites

Much work has been done on the extraction, purification and assay of different plant natural products. Metabolites with high antioxidant activity are particularly studied (flavonoids, catechins, phenolic acids, ascorbic acid). We developed or optimized different methods for assaying the total antioxidant capacity in plant extracts or in food matrices.

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Principal investigators

Jacques Dommes +
+32 (0)4 366 38 99
Build. 22, First floor
Bd du Rectorat, 27
B-4000 Liège

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