Tom Beeckman

Ghent University, Gand, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (151)1259.17 Total impact

  • Kenny Bogaert · Tom Beeckman · Olivier De Clerck

    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Applied Phycology
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    ABSTRACT: The plant root cap, surrounding the very tip of the growing root, perceives and transmits environmental signals to the inner root tissues. In Arabidopsis thaliana, auxin released by the root cap contributes to the regular spacing of lateral organs along the primary root axis. Here, we show that the periodicity of lateral organ induction is driven by recurrent programmed cell death at the most distal edge of the root cap. We suggest that synchronous bursts of cell death in lateral root cap cells release pulses of auxin to surrounding root tissues, establishing the pattern for lateral root formation. The dynamics of root cap turnover may therefore coordinate primary root growth with root branching in order to optimize the uptake of water and nutrients from the soil.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: In plants, the generation of new cell types and tissues depends on coordinated and oriented formative cell divisions. The plasma membrane-localized receptor kinase ARABIDOPSIS CRINKLY 4 (ACR4) is part of a mechanism controlling formative cell divisions in the Arabidopsis root. Despite its important role in plant development, very little is known about the molecular mechanism with which ACR4 is affiliated and its network of interactions. Here, we used various complementary proteomic approaches to identify ACR4-interacting protein candidates that are likely regulators of formative cell divisions and that could pave the way to unraveling the molecular basis behind ACR4-mediated signaling. We identified PROTEIN PHOSPHATASE 2A-3 (PP2A-3), a catalytic subunit of PP2A holoenzymes, as a previously unidentified regulator of formative cell divisions and as one of the first described substrates of ACR4. Our in vitro data argue for the existence of a tight posttranslational regulation in the associated biochemical network through reciprocal regulation between ACR4 and PP2A-3 at the phosphorylation level.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Lateral root development contributes significantly to the root system, and hence is crucial for plant growth. The study of lateral root initiation is however tedious, because it occurs only in a few cells inside the root and in an unpredictable manner. To circumvent this problem, a Lateral Root Inducible System (LRIS) has been developed. By treating seedlings consecutively with an auxin transport inhibitor and a synthetic auxin, highly controlled lateral root initiation occurs synchronously in the primary root, allowing abundant sampling of a desired developmental stage. The LRIS has first been developed for Arabidopsis thaliana, but can be applied to other plants as well. Accordingly, it has been adapted for use in maize (Zea mays). A detailed overview of the different steps of the LRIS in both plants is given. The combination of this system with comparative transcriptomics made it possible to identify functional homologs of Arabidopsis lateral root initiation genes in other species as illustrated here for the CYCLIN B1;1 (CYCB1;1) cell cycle gene in maize. Finally, the principles that need to be taken into account when an LRIS is developed for other plant species are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
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    ABSTRACT: PIN proteins are auxin export carriers that direct intercellular auxin flow and in turn regulate many aspects of plant growth and development including responses to environmental changes. The Arabidopsis R2R3-MYB transcription factor FOUR LIPS (FLP) and its paralogue MYB88 regulate terminal divisions during stomatal development, as well as female reproductive development and stress responses. Here we show that FLP and MYB88 act redundantly but differentially in regulating the transcription of PIN3 and PIN7 in gravity-sensing cells of primary and lateral roots. On the one hand, FLP is involved in responses to gravity stimulation in primary roots, whereas on the other, FLP and MYB88 function complementarily in establishing the gravitropic set-point angles of lateral roots. Our results support a model in which FLP and MYB88 expression specifically determines the temporal-spatial patterns of PIN3 and PIN7 transcription that are closely associated with their preferential functions during root responses to gravity.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple plant developmental processes, such as lateral root development, depend on auxin distribution patterns that are in part generated by the PIN-formed family of auxin-efflux transporters. Here we propose that AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR7 (ARF7) and the ARF7-regulated FOUR LIPS/MYB124 (FLP) transcription factors jointly form a coherent feed-forward motif that mediates the auxin-responsive PIN3 transcription in planta to steer the early steps of lateral root formation. This regulatory mechanism might endow the PIN3 circuitry with a temporal 'memory' of auxin stimuli, potentially maintaining and enhancing the robustness of the auxin flux directionality during lateral root development. The cooperative action between canonical auxin signalling and other transcription factors might constitute a general mechanism by which transcriptional auxin-sensitivity can be regulated at a tissue-specific level.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Auxin and cytokinin are key endogenous regulators of plant development. Although cytokinin-mediated modulation of auxin distribution is a developmentally crucial hormonal interaction, its molecular basis is largely unknown. Here we show a direct regulatory link between cytokinin signalling and the auxin transport machinery uncovering a mechanistic framework for cytokinin-auxin cross-talk. We show that the CYTOKININ RESPONSE FACTORS (CRFs), transcription factors downstream of cytokinin perception, transcriptionally control genes encoding PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transporters at a specific PIN CYTOKININ RESPONSE ELEMENT (PCRE) domain. Removal of this cis-regulatory element effectively uncouples PIN transcription from the CRF-mediated cytokinin regulation and attenuates plant cytokinin sensitivity. We propose that CRFs represent a missing cross-talk component that fine-tunes auxin transport capacity downstream of cytokinin signalling to control plant development.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Aurora kinases are evolutionarily conserved key mitotic determinants in all eukaryotes. Yeasts contain a single Aurora kinase, whereas multicellular eukaryotes have at least two functionally diverged members. The involvement of Aurora kinases in human cancers has provided an in-depth mechanistic understanding of their roles throughout cell division in animal and yeast models. By contrast, understanding Aurora kinase function in plants is only starting to emerge. Nevertheless, genetic, cell biological, and biochemical approaches have revealed functional diversification between the plant Aurora kinases and suggest a role in formative (asymmetric) divisions, chromatin modification, and genome stability. This review provides an overview of the accumulated knowledge on the function of plant Aurora kinases as well as some major challenges for the future.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Trends in Plant Science
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    ABSTRACT: Strigolactones are important rhizosphere signals that act as phytohormones and have multiple functions, including modulation of lateral root (LR) development. Here, we show that treatment with the strigolactone analog GR24 did not affect LR initiation, but negatively influenced LR priming and emergence, the latter especially near the root–shoot junction. The cytokinin module ARABIDOPSIS HISTIDINE KINASE3 (AHK3)/ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATOR1 (ARR1)/ARR12 was found to interact with the GR24-dependent reduction in LR development, because mutants in this pathway rendered LR development insensitive to GR24. Additionally, pharmacological analyses, mutant analyses, and gene expression analyses indicated that the affected polar auxin transport stream in mutants of the AHK3/ARR1/ARR12 module could be the underlying cause. Altogether, the data reveal that the GR24 effect on LR development depends on the hormonal landscape that results from the intimate connection with auxins and cytokinins, two main players in LR development.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Experimental Botany
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    ABSTRACT: Functional analyses of MADS-box transcription factors in plants have unraveled their role in major developmental programs (e.g; flowering and floral organ identity), as well as in stress-related developmental processes such as abscission, fruit ripening and senescence. Over-expression of the OsMADS26 gene in rice (Oryza sativa) has revealed a possible function related to stress response (Lee et al., 2008b). Here we show that OsMADS26 down-regulated plants exhibit enhanced resistance against two major rice pathogens, Magnaporthe oryzae and Xanthomonas oryzae. Despite this enhanced resistance to biotic stresses, OsMADS26 down-regulated plants also displayed enhanced tolerance to water deficit. These phenotypes were observed both in controlled and field conditions. Interestingly, alteration of OsMADS26 expression has no strong impact on plant development. Gene expression profiling revealed that a majority of genes miss-regulated in over-expresser and down-regulated OsMADS26 lines compared to control plants are associated to biotic or abiotic stress response. Altogether, our data indicate that OsMADS26 acts as an upstream regulator of stress-associated genes and thereby as a hub to modulate the response to various stresses in the rice plant.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Plant physiology
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    ABSTRACT: ] The leaf is the major functional part of the shoot performing the bulk of photosynthetic activity. Its development is relatively plastic allowing the plant to adapt to environmental changes by modifying leaf size and anatomy. Moreover, a leaf is made up of various distinct cell layers, each having specialized functions. To understand functional adaptation and the development of the leaf it is essential to obtain cross sections throughout leaf development and at maturity (Kalve et al., 2014). Here, we describe a protocol for transverse sectioning of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves using resin embedding. This protocol provides a reliable platform to yield high quality images of cross sections allowing study of development of various tissue layers across the transversal axis of the leaf. As this method is an adaptation of the protocol developed for the Arabidopsis root tip by Beeckman and Viane (1999) and De Smet et al. (2004), it can easily be modified to accommodate other organs and species.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The leaf is the major functional part of the shoot performing the bulk of photosynthetic activity. Its development is relatively plastic allowing the plant to adapt to environmental changes by modifying leaf size and anatomy. Moreover, a leaf is made up of various distinct cell layers, each having specialized functions. To understand functional adaptation and the development of the leaf it is essential to obtain cross sections throughout leaf development and at maturity (Kalve et al., 2014). Here, we describe a protocol for transverse sectioning of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves using resin embedding. This protocol provides a reliable platform to yield high quality images of cross sections allowing study of development of various tissue layers across the transversal axis of the leaf. As this method is an adaptation of the protocol developed for the Arabidopsis root tip by Beeckman and Viane (1999) and De Smet et al. (2004), it can easily be modified to accommodate other organs and species.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
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    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Plant genomes encode numerous small secretory peptides (SSPs) whose functions have yet to be explored. Based on structural features that characterize SSP families known to take part in postembryonic development, this comparative genome analysis resulted in the identification of genes coding for oligopeptides potentially involved in cell-to-cell communication. Because genome annotation based on short sequence homology is difficult, the criteria for the de novo identification and aggregation of conserved SSP sequences were first benchmarked across five reference plant species. The resulting gene families were then extended to 32 genome sequences, including major crops. The global phylogenetic pattern common to the functionally characterized SSP families suggests that their apparition and expansion coincide with that of the land plants. The SSP families can be searched online for members, sequences and consensus (http://bioinformatics.psb.ugent.be/webtools/PlantSSP/). Looking for putative regulators of root development, Arabidopsis thaliana SSP genes were further selected through transcriptome meta-analysis based on their expression at specific stages and in specific cell types in the course of the lateral root formation. As an additional indication that formerly uncharacterized SSPs may control development, this study showed that root growth and branching were altered by the application of synthetic peptides matching conserved SSP motifs, sometimes in very specific ways. The strategy used in the study, combining comparative genomics, transcriptome meta-analysis and peptide functional assays in planta, pinpoints factors potentially involved in non-cell-autonomous regulatory mechanisms. A similar approach can be implemented in different species for the study of a wide range of developmental programmes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Experimental Botany
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    ABSTRACT: Small peptides of the Arabidopsis GLV/RGF/CLEL family are involved in different developmental programmes, including meristem maintenance and gravitropic responses. In addition, our previous report suggested that they also participate in the formation of lateral roots. Specifically, GLV6 is transcribed during the first stages of primordium development and GLV6 overexpression results in a strong reduction of emerged lateral roots. To investigate the cause of this phenotype we analysed primordium development in gain-of-function (gof) mutants and found that GLV6 induces supernumerary pericycle divisions, hindering the formation of a dome-shaped primordium, a prerequisite for successful emergence. The GLV6 phenotype could be reproduced by ectopic expression of the gene only in xylem-pole pericycle cells. Furthermore, GLV6 seems to function at the very beginning of lateral root initiation because GLV6 excess-either gene overexpression or peptide treatment-disrupts the first asymmetric cell divisions required for proper primordium formation. Our results suggest that GLV6 acts during lateral root initiation controlling the patterning of the first pericycle divisions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Experimental Botany
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    ABSTRACT: Upward leaf movement (hyponastic growth) is frequently observed in response to changing environmental conditions and can be induced by the phytohormone ethylene. Hyponasty results from differential growth; i.e. enhanced cell elongation at the proximal abaxial side of the petiole relative to the adaxial side. Here we characterise Enhanced Hyponasty-D (EHY-D), an activation-tagged Arabidopsis thaliana line with exaggerated hyponasty. This phenotype is associated with overexpression of the mitotic cyclin CYCLINA2;1 (CYCA2;1), which hints at a role for cell divisions in regulating hyponasty. Indeed, mathematical analysis suggested that the observed changes in abaxial cell elongation rates during ethylene treatment should result in a larger hyponastic amplitude than observed, unless a decrease in cell proliferation rate at the proximal abaxial side of the petiole relative to the adaxial side was implemented. Our model predicts that when this differential proliferation mechanism is disrupted by either ectopic overexpression or mutation of CYCA2;1, the hyponastic growth response becomes exaggerated. This is in accordance with experimental observations on CYCA2;1 overexpression lines and cyca2;1 knock-outs. We therefore propose a bipartite mechanism controlling leaf movement; Ethylene induces longitudinal cell expansion in the abaxial petiole epidermis to induce hyponasty and simultaneously affects its amplitude by controlling cell proliferation through CYCA2;1. Further corroborating the model, we found that ethylene treatment results in transcriptional down regulation of A2-type CYCLINs and propose that this, and possibly other regulatory mechanisms affecting CYCA2;1, may contribute to this attenuation of hyponastic growth. Copyright © 2015, Plant Physiology.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Plant physiology
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    ABSTRACT: During the exploration of the soil by plant roots, uptake of water and nutrients can be greatly fostered by a regular spacing of lateral roots (LRs). In the Arabidopsis root, a regular branching pattern depends on oscillatory gene activity to create prebranch sites, patches of cells competent to form LRs. Thus far, the molecular components regulating the oscillations still remain unclear. Here, we show that a local auxin source in the root cap, derived from the auxin precursor indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), modulates the oscillation amplitude, which in turn determines whether a prebranch site is created or not. Moreover, transcriptome profiling identified novel and IBA-regulated components of root patterning, such as the MEMBRANE-ASSOCIATED KINASE REGULATOR4 (MAKR4) that converts the prebranch sites into a regular spacing of lateral organs. Thus, the spatiotemporal patterning of roots is fine-tuned by the root cap-specific conversion pathway of IBA to auxin and the subsequent induction of MAKR4. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Current biology: CB
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    ABSTRACT: Cell polarity is a fundamental property of pro- and eukaryotic cells. It is necessary for coordination of cell division, cell morphogenesis and signaling processes. How polarity is generated and maintained is a complex issue governed by interconnected feed-back regulations between small GTPase signaling and membrane tension-based signaling that controls membrane trafficking, and cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. Here, we will review the potential role for calcium as a crucial signal that connects and coordinates the respective processes during polarization processes in plants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 13th European Symposium on Calcium. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 13th European Symposium on Calcium. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research
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    Kenny A. Bogaert · Tom Beeckman · Olivier De Clerck
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    ABSTRACT: Fucoid zygotes have been extensively used to study cell polarization and asymmetrical cell division. Fertilized eggs are responsive to different environmental cues (e.g., light, gravity) for a long period before the polarity is fixed and the cells germinate accordingly. First, it is commonly believed that the direction and sense of the polarization vector are established simultaneously as indicated by the formation of an F-actin patch. Secondly, upon reorientation of the zygote, a new polar gradient is formed and it is assumed that the position of the future rhizoid pole is only influenced by the latter. Here we tested these two hypotheses investigating photopolarization in Fucus zygotes by reorienting zygotes 90° relative to a unilateral light source at different time points during the first cell cycle. We conclude that fixation of direction and sense of the polarization vector is indeed established simultaneously. However, the experiments yielded a distribution of polarization axes that cannot be explained if only the last environmental cue is supposed to determine the polarization axis. We conclude that our observations, together with published findings, can only be explained by assuming imprinting of the different polarization vectors and their integration as a vectorial sum at the moment of axis fixation. This way cells will average different serially perceived cues resulting in a polarization vector representative of the dynamic intertidal environment, instead of betting exclusively on the perceived vector at the moment of axis fixation.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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    ABSTRACT: Variations in size and shape of multicellular organs depend on spatio-temporal regulation of cell division and expansion. Here, cell division and expansion rates were quantified relative to the three spatial axes in the first leaf pair of Arabidopsis thaliana. The results show striking differences in expansion rates: the expansion rate in the petiole is higher than in the leaf blade; expansion rates in the lateral direction are higher than longitudinal rates between 5 and 10 days after stratification, but become equal at later stages of leaf blade development; and anticlinal expansion co-occurs with, but is an order of magnitude slower than periclinal expansion. Anticlinal expansion rates also differed greatly between tissues: the highest rates occurred in the spongy mesophyll and the lowest in the epidermis. Cell division rates were higher and continued for longer in the epidermis compared with the palisade mesophyll, causing a larger increase of palisade than epidermal cell area over the course of leaf development. The cellular dynamics underlying the effect of shading on petiole length and leaf thickness were then investigated. Low light reduced leaf expansion rates, which was partly compensated by increased duration of the growth phase. Inversely, shading enhanced expansion rates in the petiole, so that the blade to petiole ratio was reduced by 50%. Low light reduced leaf thickness by inhibiting anticlinal cell expansion rates. This effect on cell expansion was preceded by an effect on cell division, leading to one less layer of palisade cells. The two effects could be uncoupled by shifting plants to contrasting light conditions immediately after germination. This extended kinematic analysis maps the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of cell division and expansion, providing a framework for further research to understand the molecular regulatory mechanisms involved.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Experimental Botany

Publication Stats

11k Citations
1,259.17 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1994-2015
    • Ghent University
      • • Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
      • • VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology
      • • Laboratory of Microbiology
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2013
    • University of Nottingham
      • Division of Plant and Crop Sciences
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
    • Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2001-2013
    • Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie
      • Department of Plant Systems Biology, UGent
      Gand, Flemish, Belgium
  • 2011
    • University of Lausanne
      • Department of Plant Molecular Biology
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland