Mieke Van Lijsebettens Lab

Research focus

The focus of the research unit “Chromatin and growth control” headed by Mieke Van Lijsebettens is on genetic, epigenetic and chromatin-related regulation of plant growth and development in Arabidopsis and crops, such as canola and rice. Chromatin state and DNA methylation level are studied in relation to transcriptome in Arabidopsis leaf mutants and in canola and rice epilines. The role of chromatin modifying complexes in the activation of RNA polymerase II transcript elongation of specific pathways in plant growth and development is being studied. Furthermore, the altered epigenomes and the transcriptional networks  in epilines with improved energy homeostasis and yield are characterized and their stability followed in subsequent generations. Finally, we have a maize transformation platform in place that is used for basic, translational and biotechnological research in collaborative efforts.


The Elongator complex regulates hypocotyl growth in darkness and during photomorphogenesisWoloszynska M, Gagliardi O, Vandenbussche F, De Groeve S, Alonso Baez L, Neyt P, Le Gall S, Fung J, Mas P, Van Der Straeten D, Van Lijsebettens MJOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, 131, jcs203927, 2018
Altered expression of maize PLASTOCHRON1 enhances biomass and seed yield by extending cell division durationSun X Cahill J Van Hautegem T Feys K Whipple C Novák O Delbare S Versteele C Demuynck K De Block J Storme V Claeys H Van Lijsebettens M Coussens G Ljung K De Vliegher A Muszynski M Inzé D* Nelissen H*Nature Communications, 8, 14752, 2017* These authors contributed equally
Plant-RRBS, a bisulfite and next-generation sequencing-based methylome profiling method enriching for coverage of cytosine positionsSchmidt M, Van Bel M, Woloszynska M, Slabbinck B, Martens C, De Block M, Coppens F, Van Lijsebettens MBMC PLANT BIOLOGY, 17, 115, 2017
ROTUNDA3 function in plant development by phosphatase 2A-mediated regulation of auxin transporter recyclingKarampelias M, Neyt P, De Groeve S, Aesaert S, Coussens G, Rolcik J, Bruno L, De Winne N, Van Minnebruggen A, Van Montagu M, Ponce M, Micol J, Friml J, De Jaeger G, Van Lijsebettens MPROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 113, 2768-73, 2016
Selection for Improved Energy Use Efficiency and Drought Tolerance in Canola Results in Distinct Transcriptome and Epigenome ChangesVerkest A Byzova M* Martens C* Willems P Verwulgen T Slabbinck B Rombaut D Van De Velde J Vandepoele K Standaert E Peeters M Van Lijsebettens M Van Breusegem F De Block MPLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 168, 1338-50, 2015* These authors contributed equally

Job openings


Technological evolutions in plant transformation

30/07/2016 - Transformation is an essential tool for functional analysis of genes in model organisms, such as Arabidopsis and maize, and thus essential in the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, UGent.​

Novel component in pin recycling steers auxin-mediated development

18/07/2016 - ​At the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, UGent, scientists identified the ROTUNDA3 protein as a regulator of the protein phosphatase 2A-driven PIN-FORMED recycling