Multicellular organisms require cell-to-cell communication and means to exchange nutrients and signaling molecules between cells. Plants have developed remarkable cellular machines - the Plasmodesmata (PD) pores - which interconnect every single cell within the plant body and are decisive for development, environmental adaptation, pathogen infection and defense signaling. The importance of PD relies in their function in the direct transport of molecules such as proteins, RNAs, ions, and metabolites. However, how PD contribute to the regulation of transport and coordinate responses at a multicellular level remain unclear. Additionally, despite the importance of PD, they remain recalcitrant to composition identification, structure determination and functional dissection.
The major focus of our research is to unravel PD composition and development, and to understand their function as cell-cell bridges for communication, nutrient transport and viral spread within plants. To address these questions, my team use a variety of cutting-edge experimental approaches including advanced imaging, genome editing, genetically encoded biosensors, proximity labeling and cryo-ET.
In the long term, the increased knowledge resulting from our ongoing work should significantly contribute to improve plant growth and resistance to pathogens which is required to improve global food supplies.
If you are a Bachelor or a Master student, and wish to join our team for your thesis or as a student helper, please submit your application at any time at . Email subject line should include “Application to join the Team ERC Synergy SYMPORE”. The application should contain a short letter of motivation. A possible starting date should be indicated. You will find here more information about Job Offers.