The Laboratory of Plant Physiology of the University of Liège has a long expertise in the study of the flowering process. By an integration of physiological and molecular approaches, the aim of the research is to understand the mechanisms of floral transition at the whole plant level, including the involvement of the roots. Experiments are conducted in phytotrons, which allow to synchronize the plant material and hence to dissect the sequence of events from the induction of flowering to flower appearance. Flowering is either induced by environmental factors, such as photoperiod and vernalization, or occurs autonomously. Phytotrons are also used to study the effects of abiotic stress on flowering.
The on-going programs are conducted on model plants (Arabidopsis thaliana, Sinapis alba) and crops (maize, tomato, root chicory).
A second activity of the lab is the production of recombinant proteins in plants, by rhizosecretion. This technology takes advantage of an hydroponic device, that was set up in the lab http://www.araponics.com and is supported by basic research on apoplastic proteases.
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