Identification and characterization of ACC transporters in Arabidopsis

01 October 2014 → 30 September 2017
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other biological sciences
    • Other natural sciences
transport proteins
Project description

Just like humans, plants use hormones to regulate physiological processes. Plants have only a

limited number of known hormones, of which the volatile molecule ethylene is one. For each

hormone there are three essential aspects: synthesis, perception and transport. For ethylene, both

the biosynthesis and the perceptions/signaling pathways have been uncovered, yet the transport

mechanism remains unknown. Nevertheless, it is established that the ethylene precursor, called

ACC, is able to be transported over long distances. For example ACC is transported from the roots

to the shoot during several stress conditions like flooding, salinity and drought. In this proposal we

aim to discover and characterize the molecular mechanism by which this long distance ACC

transport is achieved. We will use genetic, molecular and physiological experiments to discover

specific ACC transporter proteins, and study their biological relevance in the plant life cycle. We

will focus on different stress conditions because ethylene is known as the ‘tress hormone’ This

knowledge allows us to understand how plants cells communicate specific stresses in order to

activate survival strategies. This is a timely question, because due to global warming and the need

to feed the growing world population, plants are more than ever confronted with stress. Basic

research can uncover novel cellular processes that could be exploited by agro- and biotech

industries to make plants stronger and more resistant to stress.