Date: 30.04.2024

Two new research teams focus on plant evolution and development

Two new research groups has been established at the Institute of Plant Molecular Biology of the BC CAS. The first is headed by Lenka Caisová, whose research focuses on plant terrestrialization. The second group, led by Ivan Kulich, investigates the development and growth of plant cells. The new research teams have been initiated within the framework of the MOLIPEC project, supported by the Horizon Europe ERA Chair programme, and thus launched a new step in plant research at the Biology Centre.

Ivan Kulich leads the Laboratory of Plant Cell Morphogenesis, which investigates the development and growth of plant cells as well as external and internal factors that influence plant development. "Just like a pencil battery has two poles, each cell in the root knows which way the tip of the root is and where the aerial part is, it has an internal polarity. But it's a mystery how this polarity works," explains Ivan Kulich, adding that in experimental work they can switch this polarity off, allowing them to study this phenomenon in detail. Other plant mechanisms that Ivan Kulich's team is focusing on include cell growth. "We are interested in how a cell slows down its growth when it grows too fast or when it detects an external danger. We can also turn this mechanism off. Such cells then grow too fast and burst," says the team leader. This mechanism ultimately forms the shape of the cells and consequently the plant organs.



The Plant Terestrialization Laboratory, headed by Lenka Caisová, focuses on a key milestone in plant evolution - the transition of plants from water to land. The team studies and compares aquatic algae and land plants using a wide range of experimental techniques to better understand the traits and processes that enabled plants to move from water to land. Lenka Caisova, like Ivan Kulich, comes to the Biology Centre from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA).





Biology Centre CAS
Institute of Plant Molecular Biology
Branišovská 1160/31
370 05 České Budějovice

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