ViPS Invited Seminar November 2023

Stéphanie Robert, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden

Date: 15th November 2023

Time: 13:00

Title: Adding a piece to the leaf epidermis puzzle: Towards a better understanding of cell shape acquisition

Location: Lecture room B7, Forest Science building, Latokartanonkaari 7-9 and remotely via Zoom

Host: Anna Happonen

Abstract: As the most external tissue layer, the plant epidermis is a key component of the interface with the environment and plays a major role in adjusting morphogenesis, for which a tight control of cell shape acquisition is needed. The presence of the cell wall complexifies cell shape acquisition but it provides support and protection to the cell and thus has to be fairly rigid but also flexible to allow growth. The phytohormone auxin is one of the factors stimulating cell growth by inducing wall loosening and modifying specific gene expression. Using jigsaw puzzle-shaped leaf epidermal pavement cells of Arabidopsis as a remarkably synchronous model of cell shape development, we are working on unraveling the molecular pathways controlling cell shape determination.

We are focusing on plant hormone transport and signaling, cell wall biology, cell biology, endomembrane trafficking, and chemical genomics. One aspect of our lab's research is to dissect auxin biology using chemical genetics. We have identified specific compounds that affect hormone transport and signaling. Furthermore, we are interested in cell shape acquisition and have shown that cell shape determination is dependent on the heterogeneity of cell wall mechanical properties and composition, along with the establishment of phytohormone gradients.

Read more about Stéphanie's work

Related publications:

Jobert F Soriano A, Brottier L, Casset C, Divol F, Safran J, Lefebvre V, Pelloux J, Robert S†, Peret B† (2022) Auxin triggers pectin modification during rootlet emergence in white lupin. The Plant Journal 112:1127-1140

Pařízková B*, Žukauskaitė A*, Vain T*, Grones P*, Raggi S, Kubeš MF, Kieffe M, Doyle SM, Strnad M,  Kepinski S, Napier R, Doležal K, Robert  S†,  Novák O† (2021) New fluorescent auxin probes visualize tissue-specific and subcellular distributions of auxin in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist

Grones P, Majda M, Doyle S, Van Damme D, Robert S† (2020) Fluctuating auxin response gradients determine pavement cell shape acquisition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 17: 16027-16034

Majda M, Krupinski P, Jönsson H, Hamant  O, Robert S† (2019) Response: Mechanical Asymmetry of the Cell Wall Predicts Changes in Pavement Cell Geometry. Development Cell  50:9-10.

Majda M, Grones P, Sintorn I M, Vain T, Milani P, Krupinski P., Zagórska-Marek B, Viotti C, Jönsson H, Mellerowicz EJ, Hamant O and Robert S† (2017). Mechano-chemical polarization of contiguous cell walls shapes plant pavement cells. Developmental Cell  43, 290–304