Unravelling the role and importance of ER-stress related proteostasis machineries in the response of tomato roots to the phytohormone jasmonate

01 October 2021 → 21 August 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Plant biochemistry
    • Plant cell and molecular biology
    • Plant genetics
    • Plant morphology, anatomy and physiology
Endoplasmic Reticulum Jasmonate specialised metabolism
Project description

Plants synthesize bioactive specialised metabolites in a highly compartmentalised manner. Numerous enzymes are involved, typically distributed across multiple subcellular compartments, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a dynamic organelle that plays an essential role in the biosynthesis of most specialized metabolites. Recently, we observed that the phytohormone jasmonate (JA), the renowned universal elicitor of plant specialised metabolite biosynthesis, concomitantly triggers a change in the architecture of the plant ER. The latter seemingly correlates with a JA-mediated increased expression of genes encoding proteins involved in autophagy, UFMylation and ERAD related processes. It remains largely unknown how these proteostasis mechanisms contribute to the shaping of the ER membrane under stress conditions, to the maintenance of plant ER homeostasis, and the potential accommodation of increased production of specialized metabolites. Likewise, our overall understanding on the functioning and composition of these ER-related proteostasis mechanisms is still rather limited. Through in-depth microscopy analysis, combined with cutting edge interactomics and metabolomics, I will investigate these hardly studied ER processes. The insights generated in this project will provide fundamental biological knowledge on the functioning of the ER, which, due to the essential role of the ER in eukaryotes, will have impact on research across and beyond the plant field.