Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Mark A.C.J. Kwaaitaal

Mark A.C.J. Kwaaitaal, first author of The SUMO conjugation complex self-assembles into nuclear bodies independent of SIZ1 and COP1

Current Position: Postdoctoral researcher at Molecular Plant Pathology, Swammerdam Institute for Life sciences (SILS), University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands

Education: PhD (2007) from Biochemistry, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands; MSc Biotechnology (2001) from Wageningen University, Wageningen the Netherlands

Brief bio: Since 2016 I work as a postdoc in the group of Dr. Harrold van den Burg at the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands) on projects dealing with sumoylation in plants and the role of this posttranslational protein modification in plant development and disease. Before I worked as a postdoc in the group of Prof. Ralph Panstruga from 2006 to 2011 at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research MPIPZ (Cologne, Germany) and from 2014 to 2016 at the RWTH Aachen University (Aachen, Germany) on plant-powdery mildew interactions and plant innate immune responses. In between, from 2011 to 2013, I worked as postdoc in the group of Prof. Hans Thordal-Christensen at Copenhagen University (Copenhagen, Denmark) where my research focussed on the cellular processes leading to formation of extrahaustorial membrane in the barley – powdery mildew interaction.  From 2001 to 2006 I performed my PhD research in the group of prof. Sacco de Vries at Wageningen University (Wageningen, the Netherlands). My PhD project dealt with the Somatic Embryogenesis Receptor Kinase 1 (SERK1) and how its function and presence relates to totipotency of plant cells. I acquired my M.Sc. in Biotechnology in 2001 from Wageningen University (Wageningen, the Netherlands).