Abiotic stress like drought or suboptimal phosphate levels is challenging effective crop growth in many regions over the world. This type of stress reduces crop production by affecting root growth and system architecture that in turn is pivotally controlled by cell-cell communication mechanisms. Manipulation of growth associated cell-cell communication events constitutes a promising strategy to alleviate the adverse growth effects of abiotic stress. As a prerequisite of defining specific interventions, cell-cell communication events have to be understood at molecular detail. Peptide mediated paracrine control has gained increased attention in this context. In order to achieve progress in this field considerable experimental innovation and conceptual developments are required to appropriately study and describe intercellular, cell transcending events in a heterogeneous organ, such as peptide mediated cell-cell communication in roots. This interdisciplinary project aims at developing microfluidic and computational in situ RNA sequencing techniques to study and describe how peptide mediated cell-cell communication regulate root growth and root system architecture under normal and abiotic stress conditions and thereby contribute knowledge to design interventions to alleviate the adverse effect of abiotic stress on plant development and growth.
Dr. Manfred Claassen, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Matthias Meier, University of Freiburg, Germany
Dr. Reidunn Birgitta Aalen, University of Oslo, Norway
Dr. Bernhard Arnolds, University of Freiburg, Germany