2014-06 Illuminated Grapes

A fluorescent jellyfish protein helps us to observe, how grapevine plants stretch their muscles when they are attacked by microbes.

What is the topic?

Even plants have muscles. This sounds strange, since they do not move? However, they use their muscles rather as sensory organs. By the help of a fluorescent jellyfish protein we succeeded to render the muscles of grapevine visible. By this Approach we could follow by so called Spinning-Disc Scanning Confocal Microscopy, how the muscles of a grapevine leaf respond to attacking pathogenic microbes. We discovered that in the guard cells actin is rapidly and sensitively remodelled. In some cases the guard cells send a signal to their neighbourhood, such that those cells that did not have any direct contact with the intruder, already prepare to a future attack by stretching their muscles.

Publication

 

 

107. Xin G, Buchholz G, Nick P (2014) Actin marker lines in grapevine reveal a gatekeeper function of guard cells. J Plant Physiol  171, 1164–1173 - pdf

 

2014-05 Why the tax payer profits from cell biology

Cell biology is often misunderstood as "pure science". Our new book demonstrates that Green Cell Biology leads to tangible applications.

What is the topic?

Plants provide the base for all life on this planet. Agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine exploit the extraordinary capacities of plants. Many of the responsive genes have been elucidated and contribute to the breeding of new plants and the biotechnological generation of new products. Nevertheless, the potential of plants is only partially accessible, because we do not know enough about the underlying cell biological mechanisms. We have to understand, how plant cells control their metabolism, how they adapt growth and development to the environment, how they perceive and distinguish stress factors, and how molecules are synthetised, transported and stored. Our new book "Applied Plant Cell Biology" that just appeared at Springer, merges cell biology with biotechnological application.

Publication

[32] Nick P, Opatrný Z (eds) (2014) Applied Plant Cell Biology – Cellular Tools and Approaches. Plant Cell Monographs 22, Springer, Heidelberg - more...