• Charlotte Gommers

The green light for 2020

We're only 2 weeks into the new year and I can say I have high expectations for 2020. First of all, it’s a leap year, which means I will finally celebrate my birthday again! But, more importantly, we have good times ahead for the retrograde signaling research team, here at WUR.

2019 was a year where we started off with exciting projects and smart, eager students. But it was also a year where I had to find my way around the department, the campus, the labs, the classrooms.. And now that I don’t get lost so often anymore, most things will be easier a second time and more time is left for exciting lab work, paper-writing and proposal applying.


We finished the year with some excitement, as I received a (small) grant from the Dutch government, the so-called ‘open competition XS’. This will help us loads as I will use the money to buy our own, new climate cabinet, and to do RNA sequencing. These XS grants are new and a great initiative of NWO, as they specifically fund ‘high risk, high gain’ research ideas that are difficult to fit in existing research lines. I will use mine to explore the possibility that chloroplasts retrograde signals are involved in green light sensing. You can find a short description of my proposal, and more information, on the website of NWO.

Let’s hope this gives the green light for exiting work to come and more projects to be funded!


The start of 2020 was also bright, as a new 'News and Views' from my hand was published in the focus issue on RNA Biology in Plant Physiology. It summarises the work of Schuster et al., which shows that, unexpectedly, chloroplast translation is hardly affected during high light stress. I propose that plastid plasticity to high light occurs 'at a different time and place'. Find the paper under publications.


I wish you an exciting year full of luck, great discoveries, successes, birthdays and warm friendships, and would like to finish off with a nice picture of the group, made during our ‘New Year Dinner’.


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