A group of students at Rutgers University–Camden under the guidance of their Assistant Professor, Simeon Kotchoni discovered a new gene, called GIGANTUS (abbreviated to GTS) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This gene – a member of the protein family- determines cell shapes in plants, controls seed germination, growth and biomass accumulation in plants. The student group analyzed a large number of genes conditioning cell shape patterning and growth in A. thaliana and identified the above named gene GTS capable of functioning under constantly changing environmental conditions. The identification of GTS is considered an achievement because it was found to govern the cellular functions conditioning growth. The results of this important study were published in the last January issue of BMC Plant Biology.