"Receptor-mediated signalling from the plant cell wall"

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Thursday 21 March 2019, 11:00 - 12:30


Plant growth depends to a large extent on the physico-chemical properties of the cell walls, which dynamically adapt to internal and external cues. This adaptation involves feedback signalling, linking information on the integrity of the wall with intracellular growth-regulating processes. However, very little is known about the nature of these pathways and how signals are transduced to the cytosol. Research in my lab is focused on deciphering how signals from the cell wall are perceived by plasma membrane-bound receptor proteins and how this cell wall-mediated signalling intersects with the regulatory mechanisms of plant development.  The brassinosteroid (BR) hormone signalling pathway is a central regulator of plant morphogenesis, as indicated by the large amount of BR-responsive cell wall-related genes and the severe growth defects of BR mutants. Recently, we have shown that interference with the major cell wall polysaccharide pectin triggers activation of BR signalling, which in turn orchestrates a compensatory response involving cell wall remodelling. In the absence of BR-mediated feedback signalling, altered pectin modification severely compromises cellular integrity, ultimately resulting in cell rupture. This activation of brassinosteroid signalling requires the presence of the cell wall-binding protein RLP44, which forms a complex with the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 and its co-receptor BAK1. Interestingly, RLP44 is required for the maintenance of vascular cell fate through activation of phytosulfokine signalling, suggesting that cell wall signalling can control cell identity. Furthermore, RLP44’s routing into the phytosulfokine or BR signalling pathway is controlled by post-translational modification, providing a framework to understand how specificity can be established in plasma membrane receptor complex interactions.

Location Jozef Schell Seminar Room
Contact Dr Sebastian Wolf
COS Heidelberg
University of Heidelberg