In my group, we are studying the mechanisms involved in short distance cell-to-cell communication in response to localized wound stress in plant roots using plant parasitic nematodes and state-of-the-art laser ablation approach.

Photo of Peter Marhavy at the confocal microscope (photo taken by Fredrik Larsson)Photo: Fredrik Larsson

Plants are able to recognize biotic, abiotic and physical stressors and orchestrate different signaling pathways accordingly. Although defensive stress response signals have been intensively studied and documented, the exact mechanisms by which these signals are perceived by cells and how the signal is further transmitted from one cell to another are still largely unknown. Our research will provide insights into molecular mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication to underlying early responses to wounding in plant roots.

Real-time monitoring of calcium wave propagation after cortex cell ablation using an R-GECO1 reporter line. Laser ablation of cortex cells leads to signal increases a few seconds after ablation at the ablated root side (indicated by white arrow). In non-ablated control roots, no changes of signal intensity were observed.
Arabidopsis root expressing SCR::SCR-YFP (green) in endodermis and stained with cell-wall fluorescence dye propidium iodide (red). Time lapse demonstrate single cell laser ablation in root meristem. White arrow indicates ablated cell.
Real-time monitoring (xyt) of cyst nematodes (Heterodera schachtii) during infection in 5-day-old roots of Arabidopsis thaliana stained with propidium iodide (red). Video demonstrate nematode progression between epidermal cells.

Publication list

  1. Pickle Recruits Retinoblastoma Related 1 to Control Lateral Root Formation in Arabidopsis
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021, 22(8):3862
  2. Histochemical Staining of Suberin in Plant Roots
    Bio Protoc. 2021, 11(3):e3904
  3. Cytokinin fluoroprobe reveals multiple sites of cytokinin perception at plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum
    Nat Commun 2020, 11(1):4285
  4. SCHENGEN receptor module drives localized ROS production and lignification in plant roots
    EMBO J. 2020, 39(9):e103894
  5. Co-incidence of Damage and Microbial Patterns Controls Localized Immune Responses in Roots
    Cell. 2020, 180(3):440-453.e18
  6. Root endodermal barrier system contributes to defence against plant‐parasitic cyst and root‐knot nematodes
    Plant J, 2019, 100: 221-236,
  7. Single‐cell damage elicits regional, nematode‐restricting ethylene responses in roots
    The EMBO Journal (2019) 38: e100972,
  8. Re-activation of Stem Cell Pathways for Pattern Restoration in Plant Wound Healing
    Cell (2019) 177 (4) 957-969.e13,
  9. A SOSEKI-based coordinate system interprets global polarity cues in Arabidopsis
    Nature plants (2019) 5(2), 160–166.
  10. Minimum requirements for changing and maintaining endodermis cell identity in the Arabidopsis root
    Nature Plants (2018) 4, 586–595,
  11. A protocol for combining fluorescent proteins with histological stains for diverse cell wall components
    Plant J (2018), 93: 399-412
  12. Targeted cell elimination reveals an auxin-guided biphasic mode of lateral root initiation
    Genes Dev. ( 2016) 30: 471-483, doi:10.1101/gad.276964.115
  13. A coherent transcriptional feed-forward motif model for mediating auxin-sensitive PIN3 expression during lateral root development
    Nat Commun (2015) 6, 8821,
  14. Cytokinin response factors regulate PIN-FORMED auxin transporters
    Nat Commun (2015) 6, 8717,
  15. Real-time Analysis of Lateral Root Organogenesis in Arabidopsis
    Bio-protocol (2015) 5(8), e1446,
  16. Cytokinin Controls Polarity of PIN1-Dependent Auxin Transport during Lateral Root Organogenesis
    Curr Biol (2014) 24(9): 1031 - 1037
  17. The protein quality control system manages plant defence compound synthesis
    Nature (2013) 504(7478):148-52, doi: 10.1038/nature12685
  18. An Auxin Transport Mechanism Restricts Positive Orthogravitropism in Lateral Roots
    Curr Biol (2013) 23 (9) 817-822,
  19. Auxin reflux between the endodermis and pericycle promotes lateral root initiation
    The EMBO Journal (2013) 32: 149-158,
  20. Spatiotemporal Regulation of Lateral Root Organogenesis in Arabidopsis by Cytokinin
    The Plant Cell (2012) 24 (10): 3967-3981,
  21. Genetic approach towards the identification of auxin-cytokinin crosstalk components involved in root development
    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. (2012) 367(1595):1469–1478,
  22. Cytokinin Modulates Endocytic Trafficking of PIN1 Auxin Efflux Carrier to Control Plant Organogenesis
    Developmental Cell (2011) 21:796-804
  23. Role of PIN-mediated auxin efflux in apical hook development of Arabidopsis thaliana
    Development (2010) 137: 607-617, doi: 10.1242/dev.041277