Alesia Melnikava

DIRIGENT Genes in the Control of Plant Development

Školitel: Jan Hejatko

Instituce: Masaryk University, Faculty of Science

Obor: Bio-omics


O mém projektu

Laboratory under supervision of Jan Hejatko is interested in the study of plant hormonal signaling pathways, particularly cytokinins (CKs) in the development of model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. CK signaling is mediated via what is called multistep phosphorelay signaling (MSP). Recently it was found that CKs control xylem differentiation via regulation of the composition of the cell wall and its biomechanical properties. Our bioinformatics as well as experimental evidence suggest that there are more direct targets of CK signaling pathway with a potential role in the control of the cell wall properties. Among these are members of the almost completely unexplored Arabidopsis thaliana DIRIGENT (AtDIR) gene family. Based on our preliminary results it seems that AtDIRs could have an important role in the plant response to both biotic and abiotic stress as well as in the control of plant organogenesis. The aim of the project is to analyze the role of AtDIR13 and AtDIR14 in the Arabidopsis development. The work will include using up-to-date genetics, molecular biology and advanced imaging approaches including the recently introduced Brillouin imaging developed for the non-invasive measurement of biomechanical cell wall properties. The project promises to uncover novel mechanisms underlying hormonal control of plant development of fundamental importance. Moreover, the topic has also large application potential. Thus, the detailed knowledge on the role of hormonal regulation of AtDIRs proteins promises novel discoveries with a high potential of translatability in targeted engineering of stress-resistant crops and/or plants with improved nutrition value.