Genetic control of plant architecture

Plant Developmental Genetics

Our research aims at understanding the genetic mechanisms that regulate flowering and flower production in plants, and how these developmental processes were shaped during crop domestication and breeding. More specifically, we study the development of inflorescences, the flower-bearing shoots, which arise when small groups of pluripotent stem cells at the growing tips cease the production of vegetative organs and transition to reproductive growth. The rate in which stem cells transition and differentiate finely balances vegetative and reproductive growth for optimized flower, fruit, and seed production.

Many genes and gene variants that affect stem cell development were selected during domestication and have potential in crop improvement. However, their effects often differ when introduced into disparate genetic backgrounds due to interactions with genetic modifiers. We use approaches in molecular genetics, genomics, and biochemistry to reveal and dissect signaling pathways and genetic interactions that regulate stem cell development in the model crop tomato, to advance our ability to fine-tune shoot and inflorescence architecture for optimized yields in tomato and other crops.

Recent Publications

  • Duplication of a domestication locus neutralized a cryptic variant that caused a breeding barrier in tomato (vol 5, pg 471, 2019)
    Soyk, S; Lemmon, ZH.; Sedlazeck, FJ.; Jimenez-Gomez, JM; Alonge, M; Hutton, SF; Van Eck, J; Schatz, MC; Lippman, ZB
    NATURE PLANTS 5(8): 903-903  10.1038/s41477-019-0488-7  AUG 2019
  • Duplication of a domestication locus neutralized a cryptic variant that caused a breeding barrier in tomato
    Soyk, S; Lemmon, ZH.; Sedlazeck, FJ.; Jimenez-Gomez, JM; Alonge, M; Hutton, SF; Van Eck, J; Schatz, MC; Lippman, ZB
    NATURE PLANTS 5(5): 471-479  10.1038/s41477-019-0422-z  MAY 2019
  • Rapid improvement of domestication traits in an orphan crop by genome editing
    Lemmon, ZH; Reem, NT; Dalrymple, J; Soyk, S; Swartwood, KE; Rodriguez-Leal, D; Van Eck, J; Lippman, ZB
    NATURE PLANTS 4(10): 766-770 10.1038/s41477-018-0259-x OCT 2018
  • Bypassing Negative Epistasis on Yield in Tomato Imposed by a Domestication Gene
    Soyk, S; Lemmon, ZH; Oved, M; Fisher, J; Liberatore, KL; Park, SJ; Goren, A; Jiang, K; Ramos, A; van der Knaap, E; Van Eck, J; Zamir, D; Eshed, Y; Lippman, ZB
    CELL 169(6): 1142-+  10.1016/j.cell.2017.04.032 JUN 1 2017
  • Variation in the flowering gene SELF PRUNING 5G promotes day-neutrality and early yield in tomato
    Soyk, S; Mueller, NA; Park, SJ; Schmalenbach, I; Jiang, K; Hayama, R; Zhang, L ; Van Eck, J; Jimenez-Gomez, JM; Lippman, ZB
    NATURE GENETICS  49(1):162-168  DOI: 10.1038/ng.3733  JAN 2017
  • The starch granule-associated protein EARLY STARVATION1 (ESV1) is required for the control of starch degradation in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves.
    Feike D, Seung D, Graf A, Bischof S, Ellick T, Coiro M, Soyk S, Eicke S, Mettler-Altmann T, Lu KJ, Trick M, Zeeman SC, Smith AM (2016)
    Plant Cell. 2016 Jun;28(6):1472-89. doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00011. Epub 2016 May 20.

 

 

Sebastian Soyk Uni Lausanne

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Soyk
University of Lausanne
Center for Integrative Genomics
1015 Lausanne

Tel: +41 (0)21 692 3919

Research topics

  • Stem cell biology
  • Plant architecture
  • Natural variation
  • Crop domestication
  • Tomato

Interdisciplinarity

  • Plant development
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Evolutionary Genomics
  • Gene expression
  • Gene editing