Welcome to the MEMBRANE BIOPHYSICS LABs: Basic research focusses on the generation of polarity in biological systems using the growing pollen tube as a model system of a highly polarized cell. Pollen grains landing on a stigma will start to germinate and grow a pollen tube through the stigma tissue towards the egg cells where the two sperm cells are released and eventually, fertilisation takes place. The production of all our food relies on the successful fertilisation of plants to produce fruits, veggies, seeds, wine, bread, beer and beef.
Unfortunately, this process is very sensitive to water shortages. Drought stress during the fertilization process will result in crop losses and less food for human nourishment. We investigate the ability of the pollen, especially how pollen tubes cope with osmotic stress during tube growth and fertilisation. Therefore, the molecular mechanisms of osmosensors and OSMOREGULATION signalling networks in pollen are studied as well as water and ion transport.
Different experimental strategies are used to investigate pollen growth and osmoregulation ranging from investigating single MEMBRANE PROTEINS or second messengers to the entire POLLEN SYSTEMS BIOLOGY using ‘omics’ technologies.
– VIDEO of Lilium pollen growing (You tube) –
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