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.
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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 
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