Biosynthesis of Nucleotide Sugars for Cell Wall Polymers
Plant cell walls contain many different polymers, in particular cellulose, hemicellulose, pectic compounds and (structural) proteins. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, approx. 50 % of the cell wall biomass is derived from the precursor UDP-glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcA). We are interested in the biosynthesis of UDP-GlcA, which occurs via two different pathways in plants. The pool of nucleotide sugars that is used to synthesize cell walls is well separated from nucleotide sugars which are used to synthesize sucrose, the major sugar in Arabidopsis transported into sink tissues.
We are using different technologies to analyze the role of enzymes for plant growth, to increase biomass production and provide designer plants for the production of glycosylated recombinant proteins. Further information under the topic The technologies include e.g.: molecular genetics; knock-out plants; enzyme purification; a variety of expression systems for recombinant proteins; HPLC-analysis using different detector technologies like UV-diode array, electrochemical detection, conductivity; confocal microscopy; transgenic plants and mutants; realtime quantitative transcriptome analysis;…
Metabolites and cell wall components are analyzed by different HPLC-chromatography systems and detector technologies
Programmed Cell Death in Plants
Pathogenic microorganisms usally do not cause disease on plants. Often they are unable to colonize a host plant or they are specifically recognized at an early stage of infection. This recognition process often leads to the so-called hypersensitive reaction (HR), a form of programmed cell death in plants. In many cases this cell death program is controlled by salicylic acid. The molecular mode of action of salicylic acid in the hypersensitive reaction is largely unknown. Our aim is to shed more light on the cell death control by salicylic acid and to investigate novel proteins involved in this important process.