The Characeae are macroscopic algae which grow in fresh and brackish water. Their equisetum-like thallus consists of a regular alteration of groups of small uninucleate cells (nodes) and cylindrical coenocytic internodes which may attain a length of up to 20 cm. The large size of the internodes and their rapid cytoplasmic streaming (up to 100 µm/s) have attracted the attention of plant cell biologists as early as in the 18th century. We use these cells for investigating organelle dynamics and interactions, exo- and endocytosis, polarity establishment and organization of the cytoskeleton in relation to plasma membrane microdomains.
Our research about plasma membrane domains in Chara internodal cells is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF project no. P 22957-B20 and by the Austrian Science fund FWF projects no. P 22957-B20 and P27536-B16.
The Austrian Society of Plant Biology (ATSPB) awards MARION HÖPFLINGER with the BEST PRESENTATION AWARD for presenting the work with the title: From the cradle to the grave: New insights into charasome degradation