The distribution of assimilates between the source and sink organs is one of the most critical processes that must be properly coordinated in plants. Phloem loading, the process in which assimilates are loaded into the sieve element (SE), is the starting point for the translocation of assimilates across the whole plant. Our group aims to map the process of source-to-sink translocation of assimilates and understand diverse transport processes and the development of distinct phloem cell types.
We ask the following questions:
- Which transport processes are represented in the phloem?
- Which factors are involved in the development of the phloem?
- Can we identify strategies to enhance the source-sink translocation of sugars and amino acids?
We use a wide range of approaches to answer these questions, including single-cell RNA sequencing, translational profiling, CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing, and transport assays. We anticipate that the knowledge gained from our project will provide a basis for assimilate allocation pathways and provide strategies to improve plant fitness and yield.