The research within this theme aims at elucidating the molecular and cellular bases of the processes that govern plant development.

The research in this theme is related to a wide range of biotic interactions and includes studies on plant interactions with viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, nematodes, insects and mites.

Plants exhibit an extraordinary flexibility and adaptive potential allowing them to produce a large variety of primary and secondary metabolites and to adapt to a wide range of adverse environmental conditions.

The central research topic of this theme is the organization of the genome, which is studied at all levels, including the molecular structure, nuclear and cellular organisation and genetic transmission, as well as at the level of populations, phylogeny and evolution.

During the last decade molecular biology and molecular genetics have strongly contributed to a better understanding of the functioning of plants and the interaction between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. Key genes and their regulators that control plant development, plant-attacker interactions and plant metabolism have been cloned. With the rapid developments in genome sequencing and functional genomics in plants and plant-related organisms, biological questions can now be addressed that were not amenable before.

Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences