The aim is to understand the regulatory mechanisms of plant metabolism to promote growth in response to energetic status/environmental signals. In particular, we are interested in dissecting the role of the Target Of Rapamycin (TOR) pathway, a central regulator coordinating those factors among eukaryotes. We use Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system to decipher the basis mechanism, but we are extending our knowledge to fast-growing species such as Setaria viridis and the crop sugarcane.
The significance of a cell-wide understanding of molecular complexes is of pivotal importance to comprehend life. Protein–metabolite interactions (PMIs) have received little interest in the past; technological progress has been causing this to gradually change.
In contrast to genetic markers metabolite based biomarkers are largely neglected in plant breeding. This is very different to the situation in the medicinal field, where clinical biochemistry has since long been the basis for developing metabolite based biomarkers that, often due to a lack of understanding of the underlying causality, serve as surrogate markers for a physiological disorder.