Identifying thermosensory protein complexes in plants

01 January 2020 → 31 December 2022
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Climate change
    • Plant biochemistry
Global warming Protein-protein interaction Thermosensing
Project description

In recent years, climate change has become one of the most
discussed subjects in public media, in science and also among
policy-makers, e.g. “Climate change poses increasingly severe risks
for ecosystems, human health and the economy in Europe” and
“Summer of 2018 is the hottest in almost 200 years“. Global
warming, which is associated with climate change, has severe effects
on our earth’s ecosystems, including on agricultural production.
Because plants cannot migrate, they require molecular systems for
sensing and responding to a temperature change. Proteins are one
of the molecular building blocks of life on earth with flexible structures
that can respond quickly to environmental stimuli. In this context,
protein activity usually depends on protein-protein interactions which
are expected to be highly sensitive to temperature. Therefore,
thermosensitive protein complexes are likely to function as
thermosensors. Here, I will use protein crosslinking techniques
coupled with mass spectrometry to identify such thermosensory
complexes. Insight into these thermosensors should help us to
understand how plants perceive temperature cues and how this
temperature information is transmitted to response machineries,
ultimately resulting in changes in plant morphology and physiology.
My results will be useful for future applications, where modulation of
the thermosensory protein complexes will improve crop