Research team

Integrated Molecular Plant Physiology Research (IMPRES)

Expertise

Identification and quantification of proteins and metabolic compounds in biological samples

Analysis of 125 TAP samples prepared in MALDI plates for measurement by MALDI-TOF. 01/09/2011 - 31/08/2012

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand a private institution. UA provides the private institution research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

EPITRAIT, use of the epigenome to control complex traits in rapeseed and rice. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

Since several years Bayer BioScience generated epigenetically altered agricultural important plant species such as e.g. Brassica napus. These lines differ between each other in different traits such as yield, stress tolerance but also in respiration, gene expression, histone modification, etc... We further characterize these lines in collaboration with Bayer BioScience and VIB (UGent). The aim of our research group is to characterize the proteomes and the differences between the different lines and to study histone modifications making use of the iTraq, 2D-LC and mass spectrometry .

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Research team(s)

Ion mobility high resolution mass spectrometer: a strong tool for fragile structures. 22/07/2010 - 21/07/2015

Abstract

This project has two general objectives: (1) Increase the research potential of the UA by introduction of new state of the art techniques for the analysis of fragile molecular structures by using the novel ion mobility capabilities that have recently been integrated with high-mass high-resolution Q-TOF mass spetrometry ("Synapt", waters). (2) Maintain the current capacity to obtain Q-TOF data by replacing an existing system.

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Research team(s)

    Analysis of 125 TAP samples prepared in MALDI plates for measurement by MALDI-TOF. 15/06/2009 - 14/06/2010

    Abstract

    TAP (tandem affinity purification) technology allows us to study in vivo protein interactions (e.g. in planta). The plant extracts are prepared by VIB (Flemish Institute for Biotechnology, Ghent, Belgium) for a biotechnological company. The proteins composing the protein complexes are identified using mass spectrometrical measurements generated by MALDI TOF/TOF (within the core facility CeProMa, Centre for Proteome Analysis and Mass spectrometry, UA).

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    High performance LC-tandem mass spectrometry as necessary equipment for strategic research elucidation of chemical biomolecules and quantitative determination of medicines, metabolites and biomolecules in biological matrices. 19/12/2008 - 18/12/2013

    Abstract

    This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Impact of tropospheric Ozone on Food and Feed Quality of Brassica species.(OFFQ) 15/12/2008 - 31/01/2011

    Abstract

    This project aims to evaluate the impact of increasing tropospheric ozone pollution on changes in antioxidant and glucosinolate (natural toxin) composition of Brassica species. These are important factors in relation to health and safety aspects of the food and feed chain. Objectives : 1. to determine the impact of increasing tropospheric ozone concentrations on antioxidant and glucosinolate composition of Brassica species. 2. evaluation of the influence of ozone on the human diet and animal feed intake by incorporating the changes in antioxidant and glucosinolate levels in the food chain 3. to identify physiological and biochemical biomarkers for ozone stress by investigating the interaction between stress induction and changes in secondary metabolites. 4. elucidation of interaction between abiotic stress induction, defence pathways and changes in secondary metabolites by means of transcriptoom analysis 5. evaluation of impact of ozone induced changes in glucosinolate content and composition in relation to plant-pathogen/insect interaction through literature study 6. to determine yield losses and changes in yield quality 7. to contribute to ozone flux modelling by providing data on environmental dependence of stomatal conductance of oilseed rape and broccoli. To achieve the main objective, oilseed rape or canola (Brassica napus L.) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. cv. Italica) will be exposed to different levels of ambient ozone concentrations during their entire growth. The experiments will be performed under «near-field» conditons in 15 Open-Top Chambers (OTCs) at the Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center (VAR) in Tervuren and be repeated over 3 consecutive years to ensure sufficient environmental variation for data extrapolation. Comparison with unframed «open¿field» plots enables determination of the variation in ozone flux at the leaf level under fluctuating climatic conditions (soil moisture, air humidity, temperature, global radiation). The Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology of the University of Antwerp is responsible for the physiological assessments of plant heath throughout the experiments. This will be achieved through measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence at the leaf level. The main objective of these measurements is to identify the extent to which O3 fumigation is causing a physiological stress response in the plants and to relate these events to changes in biochemical profiles.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Development of innovative diagnostic tests for sleeping sickness or human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) based on synthetic peptides 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2010

    Abstract

    The aim of this project is to develop a simple, fast and accurate test for the diagnosis of T.b. gambiense sleeping sickness. The test should be very sensitive and is being developed on the basis of synthetic peptides.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Development and evaluation of a new vaccination methodology for improvement of CTL-responses against the apicomplexan parasite Theileria parva, using antigens fused to hsp chaperones. 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2010

    Abstract

    The aim of this project is to evaluate three different kind of HSP as carriers for antigens and to test whether they are potent enough to induce a strong and efficient immune reaction within a mammalian model along with an increased CTL respons against the protozoan parasite T. parva. mHSP70 (a Mycobacterium derived HSP) will be used as a control, since most available data in the literature report on its use in fusion proteins. bHSP70 (from Bos taurus) will be used in order to ascertain the hypothesis whether specific host chaperones are beneficial in the induction of the CTL reaction. tHSP90 (derived from T. parva) is interesting to use because it was identified as one of the T. parva antigens which induces CTL (E. Taracha, personal communication). We will test in a quantitative way whether (or to what extend) the three fusion proteins are involved in 'cross presentation' next to the cytosolic MHC-I presentation, and are capable to make an immunological reaction stronger.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    The role of plant hormones in controlling the phenotype of UV-B acclimated plants. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2008

    Abstract

    Plant growth and development have a direct impact on the balances and productivity of natural and agrarian ecosystems. The morphology of a plant, which can be influenced by biotic as well as by abiotic environmental factors, plays a determining role in plant growth and development. Chronical and ecologically relevant doses UV-B irradiation have an influence on the development and the morphology of the model organism Arabidopsis. The question concerning the underlying mechanism behind this phenomenon, is the central theme of this project.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Development of innovative diagnostic tests for human African trypanosomiasis based on synthetic peptides. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

    Abstract

    The aim of this project is to develop a simple, fast and accurate test for the diagnosis of T.b. gambiense sleeping sickness. The test should be very sensitive and is being developed on the basis of synthetic peptides.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Development and evaluation of a recombinant vaccin against bovine malaria caused by Theileria parva. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

    Abstract

    `East coast fever' (ECF) is a tick-borne disease caused by the complex protozoan parasite Theileria parva. This parasite is related to Plasmodium spp. and causes an high mortality of cows in Eastern and Central Africa. The sporozoites of T. parva infect the B- and T-lymphocytes upon wich the host reacts with a cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) response. This cellular CD8+ immune reaction in ECF is very strong and probably determined by a limited amount of antigens, in contrast to the weak and complex immune reaction in case of Plasmodium. Most probably one of these antigens is situated in the polymorphic immunodominant molecule (PIM), a membrane protein that is coded by a single copy gene and that is abundantly present in the pathogenic schizont stadium. Vaccines composed of recombinant proteins are often weakly immunogenic and are therefore mostly administered together with so called adjuvants. Self-assembling particles that are coupled to specific antigens can enhance the supply of these antigens to antigen presenting cells and can also function as an adjuvant of the co-expressed proteins. Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) is such kind of carrier and behaves as an immuno-stimulating molecule consisting of 180 subunits, each folding into a spike. After insertion of an antigen in such a spike, the immunological properties of the core are transferred to the insert. During the time course of this project recombinant hybrid particles of the HBcAg and the truncated PIM of T. parva will be applied as a vaccine injection for cows. The outcome of our experiments can be useful for the development of a safe immunization technique for ECF but will hopefully also contribute to the improvement of vaccination strategies in humans.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Development and evaluation of a new vaccination methodology for improvement of CTL-responses against the apicomplexan parasite Theileria parva, using antigens fused to hsp chaperones. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

    Abstract

    The aim of this project is to evaluate three different kind of HSP as carriers for antigens and to test whether they are potent enough to induce a strong and efficient immune reaction within a mammalian model along with an increased CTL respons against the protozoan parasite T. parva. mHSP70 (a Mycobacterium derived HSP) will be used as a control, since most available data in the literature report on its use in fusion proteins. bHSP70 (from Bos taurus) will be used in order to ascertain the hypothesis whether specific host chaperones are beneficial in the induction of the CTL reaction. tHSP90 (derived from T.parva) is interesting to use because it was identified as one of the T. parva antigens which induces CTL (E. Taracha, personal communication). We will test in a quantitative way whether (or to what extend) the three fusion proteins are involved in 'cross presentation' next to the cytosolic MHC-I presentation, and are capable to make an immunological reaction stronger.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    CEPROMA: Centre for proteome analysis. Supporting core facilities. 01/05/2006 - 30/09/2015

    Abstract

    This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    Redox status of plant cells after exposure to cadmium : a comparison between cellular defence, toxicity and tolerance mechanisms. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2009

    Abstract

    In this project plant cell cultures as well as whole Arabidopsis plants are chronically exposed to low Cd concentrations and the effect studied using physiological and biochemical techniques (e.g. measurements of ascorbate/dehydroascorbate, etc...). Also the effect on the development of whole plants from the seed are studied with physological and biochemical tools as well as the morphological impact. In another part the effect of Cd challenge on the changing proteome is studied.

    Researcher(s)

    Research team(s)

    The evolutional importance of the XTH-multigene family is studied in the root elongationzone of the primitive vascular plant Selaginella. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

    Abstract

    During this project the presence of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XTH), a cell wall modifying enzyme and the complexity of the XTH-gene family in the genome of the primitive vascular plant Selaginella family is studied. Root elongation-specific XTHs will be expressed heterologously and the resulting enzymes will be functionally analyzed. The main goal of this research will be a better understanding of the importance of these enzymes during the evolution of cell elongation.

    Researcher(s)

    • Promotor: Verbelen Jean-Pierre
    • Co-promotor: Guisez Yves
    • Fellow: Van Sandt Vicky

    Research team(s)

      Development and evaluation of a recombinant vaccin against bovine malaria caused by Theileria parva. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

      Abstract

      `East coast fever' (ECF) is a tick-borne disease caused by the complex protozoan parasite Theileria parva. This parasite is related to Plasmodium spp. and causes an high mortality of cows in Eastern and Central Africa. The sporozoites of T. parva infect the B- and T-lymphocytes upon wich the host reacts with a cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) response. This cellular CD8+ immune reaction in ECF is very strong and probably determined by a limited amount of antigens, in contrast to the weak and complex immune reaction in case of Plasmodium. Most probably one of these antigens is situated in the polymorphic immunodominant molecule (PIM), a membrane protein that is coded by a single copy gene and that is abundantly present in the pathogenic schizont stadium. Vaccines composed of recombinant proteins are often weakly immunogenic and are therefore mostly administered together with so called adjuvants. Self-assembling particles that are coupled to specific antigens can enhance the supply of these antigens to antigen presenting cells and can also function as an adjuvant of the co-expressed proteins. Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) is such kind of carrier and behaves as an immuno-stimulating molecule consisting of 180 subunits, each folding into a spike. After insertion of an antigen in such a spike, the immunological properties of the core are transferred to the insert. During the time course of this project recombinant hybrid particles of the HBcAg and the truncated PIM of T. parva will be applied as a vaccine injection for cows. The outcome of our experiments can be useful for the development of a safe immunization technique for ECF but will hopefully also contribute to the improvement of vaccination strategies in humans.

      Researcher(s)

      Research team(s)

      Biochemical and molecular characterisation of peroxidase isozymes that control UV-tolerance by altering plant architecture and phenolic metabolism in Arabidopsis. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

      Abstract

      An essential characteristic of plants is their ability to respond to stress conditions. Plants raised under solar radiation are acclimated to ambient UV-B levels, a response that prevents damaging UV-driven reactions. The aim of this project is to test the hypothesis that the expression levels of a small number of peroxidase isozymes control both UV-protection and, via effects on auxin homeostasis, UV-B induced morphogenesis. We will identify UV-regulated peroxidase isozymes using proteomic analysis, and study UV-protection and phytohormone metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana overexpressing these isozymes.

      Researcher(s)

      Research team(s)

      Molecular and physiological characterisation of peroxidases induced by UV-B radiation. 01/05/2003 - 30/04/2005

      Abstract

      The importance of class 111 peroxidases in the UV -b protection respons of plants bas recently been discovered. However, it bas become clear that only specific peroxidase isozymes contribute to the protection respons. To understand the molecular basis ofthis specificity, it is essential to isolate and characterise (proteomics) the UV induced peroxidase(s). We will study expression and regulation of the UV -induced peroxidases in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana.

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      Research team(s)

      01/01/2003 - 31/12/2003

      Abstract

      Researcher(s)

      Research team(s)

      Production and evaluation of edible vaccines from transgenic plants. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2003

      Abstract

      Researcher(s)

      • Promotor: Guisez Yves
      • Co-promotor: Maras Marleen
      • Fellow: Broos Katleen

      Research team(s)

        Characterization and physiological function of higher plant plasma membrane redox components. 01/10/2000 - 30/09/2005

        Abstract

        Plasma membranes of higher plants contain specific electron transporting redox components, including a specific b-type cytochrome. The physiological function of these components is being investigated by altering their expression levels in Arabidopsis and by investigating their specific distribution in different tissues. The cytochrome will be purified and its primary structure will be analyzed.

        Researcher(s)

        Research team(s)