On Thursday, March 30, the European Research Council (ERC) announced the grantees of the prestigious Advanced Grant. Among the selected proposals is TEMPO, led by Teva Vernoux, CNRS Research Director at the Plant Reproduction Laboratory (RDP, CNRS / INRAE / ENS de Lyon). This project is coordinated by the CNRS and hosted at ENS de Lyon.
TEMPO ProjectHow plant cells set the tempo of rhythmic shoot construction
With Teva Vernoux, CNRS Research Director at the Plant Reproduction Laboratory (RDP, CNRS / INRAE / ENS de Lyon, laboratory also associated to Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University and to INRIA)
Which rules govern the temporality of our growth, and more broadly that of all multi-cellular living beings? This question is essential to understand how animals and plants build their shape. We observe in fact, in plants and animals, mechanisms of rhythmic production of tissues and organs, which draw the organizational plan following a precise tempo. In plants, this rhythmic construction is not limited to embryogenesis, which leads to the germination of a seed: it relies in particular on an original mechanism that controls the tempo of the production of leaves and flowers. This mechanism allows the rhythmic creation of organs (leaves, flowers), with a well defined frequency, thanks to a dynamic redistribution of a plant hormone called "auxin" at the end of the stems. And this throughout the life of a plant. High levels of auxin trigger organogenesis but, contrary to the generally accepted theory, the timing of leaf and flower production cannot simply be the result of periodic auxin oscillations, as these oscillations are highly noisy. By combining live tissue imaging, single cell genomics, synthetic biology, optogenetics and computational modeling, the TEMPO project will explore an alternative hypothesis. The idea: cells would store in their chromatin the history of their exposure to auxin, in order to filter out the noise present in this information and to determine the tempo of organogenesis in a robust manner. With these approaches, the scientists seek to modify the mechanisms of epigenetic recording of auxin information in order to demonstrate that the tempo of stem construction can be manipulated in a predictive manner.
See CNRS Rhône-Auvergne press release TEMPO Project ERC Advanced Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.
544 M¤ for the 218 laureates, including 64 in Life Sceinces. With 32 selected proposals, France is the third most represented host country, after Germany (37 grantees) and the United Kingdom (35 grantees); out of a total of 20 countries.