In multicellular organisms, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are produced in different intra- and extra-cellular compartments in response to a broad spectrum of stresses. ROS controls not only the adaptation to stress but also growth and immunity processes. Especially for sessile organisms, like plants, ROS are essential components of multiple signaling pathways for communication between the environment and the interior of the cell. Similarly, to ROS, Receptor Kinases (RKs) also play a crucial role in a broad variety of plant developmental and defence related processes, including pathogen sensing, stem cell maintenance, cell proliferation, cell expansion, stomata development, as well as abiotic stress responses. However, it is still unclear how RKs and ROS signaling networks are linked in the extracellular space.
The main research questions of our group is to understand:
- How seemingly independent cell surface ROS and RKs signaling systems are integrated to ensure optimal growth and immune responses?
- What are the extracellular ROS sensors?
- What are the molecular mechanisms of extracellular ROS perception?
We are taking full advantage of the rapid developments in quantitative biochemistry, proteomics, systems and structural biology approaches to perform a large-scale receptor network and receptor-ligand pairing studies. This will be continued by in-depth mechanistic and physiological studies of key interactions/candidates.