MJ 2-4 - Vacuoles - pumping up the plant volume

Sunday, July 15
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Plant architecture follows the need to collect CO2, solar energy, water and mineral nutrients via large surface areas. It is by the presence of a central vacuole that fills much of the cell volume that plants manage to grow at low metabolic cost. In addition vacuoles buffer the fluctuating supply of essential nutrients and help to detoxify the cytosol when plants are challenged by harmful molecules. Despite their large size and multiple important functions, our knowledge of vacuole biogenesis and the machinery underlying their amazing dynamics is still fragmentary. In my presentation, I will share our insights into the process of vacuole biogenesis as well as a surprising link between vacuolar proton-pumps, metabolism and stress-tolerance that we recently uncovered.

Karin Schumacher, PhD

Heidelberg University

I am a Professor of Plant Developmental Biology at the Centre for Organismal Studies, Heidelberg University, Germany. I completed my undergraduate and PhD degrees at the University of Cologne and worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Joanne Chory at the Salk Institute. After returning to Germany I established my own grup at the ZMBP in Tübingen and we conducted seminal work investigating how plants adapt to changing environmental conditions, particularly focusing on the fluctuations in metabolite and ion levels that occur between tissues, cells, and organelles. Our work established that in Arabidopsis, many secondary active transport processes but also endocytic and secretory
trafficking, are mediated by the V-ATPase a highly conserved proton-pump that is found at the tonoplast and in TGN/EE. In our current work we aim at uncovering the networks that regulate V-ATPase activity and identifying the biological interactions that depend on the activity of this complex proton pump.


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MJ 2-4 - Vacuoles - pumping up the plant volume

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