Keywords: plant organ development, cell-cell transport, cell wall structure and biophysics, polymer physics and callose (B-1,3 glucans).
Plasmodesmata are membraneous channels embedded in plant cell walls that mediate the intercellular transport of both small and relatively large signalling molecules that control development. We focus on dissecting the developmental role and regulation of these channels and specifically pathways involving cell walls, callose and root signalling / responses. We use interdisciplinary approaches (cell and molecular biology, soft polymer physics and computer simulations) to model plasmodesmata structure and to identify the factors that control their composition and transport capacity. The aim is to elucidate their biological function and design strategies to manipulate their regulation for the improvement of important agricultural traits such as nitrogen fixation. Impact also cross-over with polymer science and applications in the design of new models and materials.
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