Root development is essential for plant life, starting with the successful establishment of the germinating seedling and continuing with the plant's growth and development. The root is a crucial determinant of plant fitness (including also crop harvest-related parameters), in response to abiotic and biotic stresses. The outermost cell wall of the root represents the root-soil interface, which protects the root, regulates the exchange of signals, water, and nutrients, influences the efficiency of root-soil penetration, and the communication with soil microbiome. Cell wall biogenesis is controlled by vesicle trafficking and the tethering complex exocyst, membrane lipid dynamics, and the cytoskeleton. With a specific focus on the interactions between the late secretory pathway, regulated by the tethering complex exocyst, and the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, regulated by formins, the PhD student will use advanced molecular and cell biology methods to gain understanding of the cooperation of these systems not only in the rhizodermis biogenesis (including root cap development), but also in the ontogeny of root zones including root-shoot junction (collet) and the emergence of lateral roots. The project can accommodate up to two students, with respective theses focusing either predominantly on membrane trafficking or on cytoskeletal aspects of root surface development.

Five relevant publications of the research group:

Janková Drdová E, Klejchová M, Janko K, Hála M, Soukupová H, Cvrčková F, Žárský V. Developmental plasticity of Arabidopsis hypocotyl is dependent on exocyst complex function. J Exp Bot. 70:1255-1265. 2019.

Oulehlová D, Kollárová E, Cifrová P, Pejchar P, Žárský V, Cvrčková F. Arabidopsis class I formin FH1 relocates between membrane compartments during root cell ontogeny and associates with pasmodesmata. Plant Cell Physiol. 60:1855-1870. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcz102. 2019.

Larson ER, Ortmannová J, Donald NA, Alvim J, Blatt MR, Žárský V. Synergy among Exocyst and SNARE interactions identifies a functional hierarchy in secretion during vegetative growth. Plant Cell. 32(9):2951-2963. doi: 10.1105/tpc.20.00280, 2020.

Cifrová P, Oulehlová D, Kollárová E, Martinek J, Rosero A, Žárský V, Schwarzerová K, Cvrčková F. Division of labor between two actin nucleators-the formin FH1 and the ARP2/3 complex-in Arabidopsis epidermal cell morphogenesis. Front Plant Sci. 11:148. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00148. 2020.

Synek L, Pleskot R, Sekereš J, Serrano N, Vukašinović N, Ortmannová J, Klejchová M, Pejchar P, Batystová K, Gutkowska M, Janková-Drdová E, Marković V, Pečenková T, Šantrůček J, Žárský V, Potocký M. Plasma membrane phospholipid signature recruits the plant exocyst complex via the EXO70A1 subunit. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 118:e2105287118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2105287118. 2021.

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