Root branching: an evolutionary perspective

Speaker: Prof. Tom Andre Beeckman, Ghent University, Belgium

Hosted by Prof. Ikram Blilou

Join us in the Auditorium between Building 2 & 3, at 10 am


The appearance of root systems in plant evolution took place independently at least 2 times. Due to the sparse availability of fossil records, the evolution of the branching capacity of roots is difficult to reconstruct. While in lycophytes branching is dependent on the division of a single apical stem cell, in ferns recurrent specification of stem cells allows for lateral branching. In seed plants, a continuous file of stem cells guarantees for high flexibility in branching patterns even in response towards changing edaphic conditions. I will provide an update of current work ongoing in my group trying to get insight in the control mechanisms on stem cell activity for root branching.

About the speaker:

Tom Beeckman studied botany at the Ghent University in Belgium and after performing postdoctoral research at the Molecular Genetics Department at the same university, he became group leader of the Root Development group at the Flanders Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) in 2001. From 2007 onwards he became professor at Ghent University mainly teaching plant developmental biology. His research is devoted to understand how cell division and hormone signaling is integrated into plant developmental processes, especially during the branching of roots. More recently, the focus of his research is broadened by the study of root development in non-seed plants.

Event Quick Information

06 Feb, 2024
10:00 AM - 10:00 AM