Plasmodesmata are cell-to-cell junctions of plants, responsible for symplastic intercellular transport of metabolites, macromolecules, and signals. The biogenesis of plasmodesmata and their function is under tight developmental and regulatory control. Despite extensive research, the role of vesicular transport in plasmodesmata remains unexplored. Recently, our laboratory identified a novel, plasmodesmata-localized module of the exocyst, the protein complex responsible for targeting secretory vesicles. This PhD project aims to uncover the spatiotemporal characteristics of this novel exocyst variant in plasmodesmata and gain a mechanistic understanding of its function, through a integrative approach utilizing wide range of microscopy, genetics, computational, and biochemical analyses. It will unravel the exocyst role in regulating plasmodesmatal permeability during plant development and under stress conditions. During the PhD project, plasmodesmata exocyst protein interaction network will be also identified. In summary, the work done during this PhD project will elucidate how the regulation of exocytosis contributes to plant intercellular communication through plasmodesmata.

Five relevant publications of the research group:

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 and Potocký M (2021) Plasma membrane phospholipid signature recruits the plant exocyst complex via the EXO70A1 subunit. PNAS 118(36):e2105287118. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2105287118

Pečenková T, Pejchar P, Moravec T, Drs M, Haluška S, Šantrůček J, Potocká A, Žárský V, Potocký M. (2022) Immunity functions of Arabidopsis pathogenesis-related 1 are coupled but not confined to its C-terminus processing and trafficking. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY 23(5): 664-678 DOI:10.1111/mpp.13187

Scholz P, Pejchar P, Fernkorn M, Škrabálková E, Pleskot R, Blersch B, Munnik T, Potocký M, Ischebeck T (2022) DIACYLGLYCEROL KINASE 5 regulates polar tip growth of tobacco pollen tubes. NEW PHYTOLOGIST 233(5):2185-2202 DOI:10.1111/nph.17930

Batystová K, Synek L, Klejchová M, Janková Drdová E, Sabol P, Potocký M, Žárský V, Hála M. (2022) Diversification of SEC15a and SEC15b isoforms of an exocyst subunit in seed plants is manifested in their specific roles in Arabidopsis sporophyte and male gametophyte. PLANT JOURNAL 110(5): 1382-1396 DOI: 10.1111/tpj.15744

Pejchar P, Sekereš J, Novotný O, Žárský V, Potocký M (2020) Functional Analysis of Phospholipase Dδ Family in Tobacco Pollen Tubes. PLANT JOURNAL 103(1): 212-226 DOI:10.1111/tpj.14720

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