The goal of my research is to understand how the plant endomembrane system is organized and regulated during cell development and in response to environmental stresses. Plant cells, like any other eukaryotic cells, are characterized by an elaborated endomembrane system consisting of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi, plasma membranes/cell walls, vacuoles and various vesicles. Many different proteins, and lipids are made in the ER and Golgi and are then mobilized to right compartments at right time in order to meet different developmental and physiological requirements of particular cells/tissues during growth.
Our current research is focused on the formation and turnover of the ER and the functional implications of ER homeostasis in cell development as well as host-virus interaction. We are currently using a combined approach of genetics, in vivo imaging and biochemistry to investigate the role of RHD3 (an atlastin GTPase) and RabC (Rab18) how they interplay with other proteins (e.g. Lunaparks, Reticulons, phospholipid biosynthetic enzymes) and cellular systems (e.g. microtubules) in these processes.