TRR 356 Plant Microbe

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Comparative ultrastructure of plant-microbe interfaces


The visualization of (ultra)-structural details of plant-microbe interfaces (PMIs), such as membranes, vesicles, membrane tubes or cell walls is central to their biological and functional understanding. Historically they are documented by individual snapshots selected for publications and/or drawings of the intuitively reconstructed structures. The resulting imaging - and thus knowledge - gap is in stark contrast to the central biological relevance of the PMI structure.

Here we aim to close this gap by 1) dissecting and comparing 3-dimensional (3D) structures of a diverse range of PMIs using (cryo) transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), or focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) techniques and by combining this with proteomic data. We will be able to pinpoint similar and specific structural features among the PMIs studied within TRR356 with a focus on intracellular PMIs.

The comparative image repository of plant-microbe interaction structures generated in Z02 will serve to 2) investigate structural consequences of genetic variations of the host or of the microbial interaction partner.

Last but not least we can 3) bridge the gap between ultrastructure and molecular function, by determining the subcellular localisation and fate of molecular actors like plant receptors and receptor complexes involved in the detection of microbial signals and presence.

Most importantly, we will 4) make the generated data available online to the research community by using the GUI accessible image and metadata database system provided by the TRR356 research data management system VERDA.


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Andreas Klingl, Plant Development, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich