Plants as sessile organisms must adapt to ever changing environmental conditions. The adaptations to environmental cues are essential for plant survival and consequently for crop productivity. The adaptation processes start at the cellular level and are subsequently translated to the development of the whole plant.
The group research programme combines two main research foci that converge on the plasmatic membrane (PM) continuum as an environmental barrier and a habitat where PM proteins residue and fulfil their function. Within this scope we unravel the membrane topology derived structure-function relationships of PIN auxin efflux carriers and investigate plant responses to rapid environmental variations (temperature amplitude, osmotic and ionic stress response) on the level of subcellular trafficking.
Sub-cellular routing is maintaining a proper PM composition because vesicles are a source of both lipids and proteins. PIN auxin efflux carriers cycle rapidly therefore they are an excellent tool for visualizing sub-cellular trafficking aberrations that frequently translate into auxin related developmental defects, while not all the phenotypes are auxin or PIN related. However growth of the primary root and laterals is modified by hormones and here the auxin hormone plays a key role to coordinate the development and shape the root system architecture (RSA) also in response to stress.