Characterisation of phosphoregulation mechanisms in jasmonate-mediated plant stress responses

01 January 2022 → 31 December 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Cell signaling
    • Posttranslational modifications
    • Plant biochemistry
    • Plant cell and molecular biology
    • Plant immunology
phosphorylation jasmonate Arabidopsis
Project description

Plants developed efficient molecular strategies to perceive and react to environmental threats. Wounding, touch or herbivore attacks trigger systemic signaling cascades that lead to increased endogenous synthesis of the phytohormone jasmonate (JA), which subsequently reprograms the cell to launch defense responses. Phosphoregulation has emerged as an important step in the regulation of JA-mediated plant defense programs, but our molecular understanding of this mechanism is very limited. To fill this knowledge gap, this project aims to generate a high-resolution phosphoproteomics network that will pinpoint kinases involved in the modulation of mechanical stress and JA signaling in the model plant Arabidopsis. Following phosphoproteomics analysis and targeted kinase screens to pinpoint lead kinases, we will use cutting-edge proximity labeling technology to map the protein-protein interaction landscape in which these kinases are operating, thereby aiming to reveal how they connect stress signals to JA signaling. Finally, phenotypic and functional characterization of the most relevant kinases will be carried out through an innovative strategy that combines genome editing and protein engineering to reveal the molecular activity and physiological role of the Arabidopsis kinase(s) in the regulation of JA signaling and plant defense responses. Together, this project will unveil a novel, hitherto limitedly explored aspect of the plant defense signaling network.