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Laboratory of Plant Biochemistry

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Plant immunity

In nature, plants are constantly confronted with an inexhaustible number of microorganisms, some of which may be beneficial others may not (pathogens). During evolution, plants have developed a very sophisticated immune system through which pathogens respond to attack. In our laboratory, we deal with various aspects of the study of plant immunity, both at the molecular level and by monitoring the manifestations of the whole plant during pathogen attack. The phytohormone salicylic acid (SA) plays an important role in plant immunity, which is at the heart of our research related to immunity. In addition to involvement in plant immune responses, SA is involved in many physiological processes such as seed germination, cell growth, vent closure, senescence, or fruit yield. We are currently working on a project studying how the biosynthesis of SA is regulated by the enzyme phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase and we are also monitoring the effect of actin cytoskeleton dynamics on the SA signaling pathway.

Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with SA is also important from a practical point of view and may help to grow crops under stress in the future.

In addition to the involvement of SA in plant immunity, we deal with the involvement of SPFH proteins, which include proteins from the flotillin families and HIR proteins. Flotillins are very likely to participate in clathrin-independent endocytosis and are part of lipid microdomains. These properties could predetermine an important role in plant signaling in pathogen infestation.

This reasearch was supported by Czech Science Fundation:

  • GA14-09685S - Flotillin: a novel player in plant stress signalling
  • GA17-05151S - Phospholipid metabolizing enzymes as new components of salicylic acid signalling pathway

Interakce rostlin s pathogeny

Plant responses to abiotic stress factors

Salt stress is currently a problem in many growing areas. Salt as an abiotic stress factor negatively affects the growth of plants and thus their productivity. Plants resist and respond to salt stress in many ways. One of the enzymes involved in defense mechanisms is phospholipase D (PLD).

In the study of the function of individual isoforms of phospholipase D in the response of plants to salt stress, we deal mainly with phospholipase Dα and phospholipase Dδ. As plant material we use wild type Arabidopsis thaliana and mutant lines A. thaliana with silenced genes encoding individual isoforms of PLD ( T-DNA insertion pldα mutant and pldδ of Arabidopsis thaliana). We monitor changes in the root system and evaluate phenotypic manifestations in wild-type and T-DNA insertion pld mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana.

In our work, we also focus on the description of intracellular molecular mechanisms involved in these changes.

Reakce rostlin na abiotické stresové faktory

LIVE imaging and its use in the study of defense reactions at the cell level

Any response of a plant to a stress stimulus always begins at the molecular level - by changes in the function and composition of proteins and enzymes. These molecules then gradually affect the higher systems - organelles of cells, tissues, organs and finally the changes (in the optimal case) are reflected at the level of the whole plant as an adaptation to stress. Live imaging allows you to monitor changes in protein complexes and cellular organelles in real time, in response to stress stimuli.

The studied proteins are membrane phospholipases, flotillins and other members of this family - HIR proteins. Our goal is to elucidate their interaction and their interaction with the cytoskeleton in the response of cells to environmental stresses. We study both biotic stressors and currently pay great attention to nanoparticles and their effect on the cell and cell organelles, as well as the reactions of plant organs.

We use fluorescence, confocal and superresolution microscopy to study these processes, and part of the research is also the preparation of genetically modified plants and cells labeled with fluorescent protein. In plants and cells prepared in this way, we can monitor the dynamics of proteins and organelles and their interactions after stress stimuli in vivo.

LIVE imaging

 ◳ fig5 (png) → (originál)

The maximum projection from 13 images shows the deposition of the defensive callose polysaccharide in the conductive pathways of the root of A. thaliana seedling treated with silver ions.

The second image represents one optical plane with the deposition of a callose in the endodermis of the root after treatment with silver nanoparticles. Both images show a combination of a fluorescent-blue callose signal and a cell structure visualized by differential interference contrast. Scale = 10 μm.

This reasearch was supported by Czech Science Fundation:

  • GA14-09685S - Flotillin: a novel player in plant stress signalling
  • GA17-10907S - Environmental impact of noble metal nanoparticles
Updated: 11.11.2020 12:13, Author: Dalibor Trapl