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Publications of the Week

Ionic Stress Enhances ER-PM Connectivity via Phosphoinositide-Associated SYT1 Contact Site Expansion in Arabidopsis

By January 21, 2019No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in PNAS from Dr. Abel Rosado (back row, middle)
and Eunkyoung Lee (front row, right) at the University of British Columbia.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

Our research tries to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which cellular organelles in plants communicate to each other and coordinate the cellular responses to environmental stresses such as cold, high salinity and mechanical damage. This is required for the development of crops with higher yield under sub-optimal growth conditions

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

In this publication we explain the long-term effect of salt stress in the proteins that act as bridges between cellular organelles in leaf tissues. Our results shows that, in response to salt stress, proteins that act as molecular bridges are activated and create communication pathways between two plant organelles, the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane. This mechanism is a specialized cellular adaption that, in plants, enables the cellular adaptation to sustained stress conditions commonly found during their life cycle.

What are the next steps for this research?

We still need to identify the specific molecules that are crossing the newly formed molecular bridges, and also determine which signaling pathways are regulated by them. This will facilitate the identification of molecular targets for breeding stress tolerant crops.

This research was funded by:

This work is funded by the NSERC Discovery Program and the Canada Research Chairs Program.

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