BSc Biology, University Abdelmlek Essadi, Morocco, 1994
Professor Blilou' s research focuses on how plant cells communicate to transfer positional information and to instruct specific functions during pattern formation. This involves studying regulatory networks that control protein movement and asymmetric cell division in plant roots, by mapping protein complexes in vivo at the cellular resolution, and by unraveling how their distinct spatial distribution leads to specific gene expression and proper cell fate acquisition.
Professor Blilou's research group also aims to understand molecular mechanisms of growth/defense trade-offs in plants by unraveling how the same set of developmental genes can regulate defense response under stress conditions. The team also intends to understand adaptive strategies used by desert plants (using date palms as a model) to survive in hostile conditions.
The Arabidopsis HOBBIT gene encodes a CDC27 homolog that links the plant cell cycle to progression of cell differentiation, Blilou, I. Frugier, F., Folmer, S., Serralbo, O., Willemsen, V., Wolkenfelt, H., Eloy, NB., Ferreira, PC., Weisbeek, P., Scheres B., Genes and Developement, 2002, 16:2566-75.
The PIN auxin efflux facilitator network control growth and patterning in Arabidopsis roots, Blilou, I., Xu, J., Widwater, M., Willemsen, V., Paponov, I., Friml, J., Heidstra, R., Aida, M., Palme, K., Scheres, B., Nature, 2005, 433. 39-44.
A bistable circuit involving SCARECROW-RETINOBLASTOMA integrates cues to inform asymmetric stem cell division, Cruz-Ramírez A, Díaz-Triviño S, Blilou I, Grieneisen VA, Sozzani R, Zamioudis C, Miskolczi P, Nieuwland J, Benjamins R, et al, Cell, 2012, 150: 1002–1015.
The zinc finger BIRD proteins jointly stabilize tissue boundaries by confining the cell fate regulator SHORT-ROOT and contributing to fate specification in Arabidopsis, Long, Y., Smet, W, Cruz-Ramírez, A, Castelijns, B., de Jonge, W, Mähönen, AP., Bouchet, BP., Sanchez Perez, G., Akhmanova, A., Scheres, B., Blilou, I., Plant Cell, 2015, 27, 1185–1199.
In vivo FRET-FLIM reveals cell type-specific protein interactions in Arabidopsis roots, Long, Y., Stahl, Y., Weidtkamp-Peters, S., Postma, M., Zhou, W., Goedhart, J., Gadella, TWG Jr, Simon, R., Scheres, B & Blilou, I., Nature, 2017, 548: 97–102.