Plants are an essential part of the natural world. The need for renewable energy, the ever increasing pressure for food and environment preservation are among the urgent challenges which require a better understanding of plant biology. In the Plant Development Laboratory (PDL), which consists of 5 different research groups, we study the genetic and molecular basis of plant developmental plasticity, and the striking ability of plants to respond to the environment. Research activities in PDL cover different plant developmental processes and regulatory circuits, namely root growth, seed germination, hypocotyl development, reproductive organ maturation and the role of proline as a signal molecule. Activities on plant biotechnology and on the effects of plant secondary metabolites on human health are also ongoing. This is achieved via state-of-the-art techniques, from genetics to cellular and molecular biology, to biochemistry, bioinformatics – including modeling - and omics approaches. Most of the work is carried on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.