Cara H. Haney, PhD
Project: Using Array Tomography to Study Coordination of Extracellular Matrix and Cell Behavior in Plant Development
Plant development is strikingly different from animal development starting with this plain fact: from birth to death, plant cells exist in a living box, the cell wall. This dynamic organelle is composed of complex carbohydrates and proteins. The role of the extracellular matrix is acknowledged to be important in all multicellular organisms; but particularly in plants, cell wall activities are the major driving force in morphogenetic decisions and reactions. Thus, the cell wall is not just a consequence of plant cell differentiation, but also a player in determining future cell function and fate. We will probe sections of a plant meristem using antibodies specific for diverse wall components, and analyze these by array tomography. This will establish for the first time in any plant system a 3-dimensional, chemically analyzed map of how cell type and wall composition correspond with developmental change.
Other Key Personnel
David Ehrhardt, Ph.D. Staff Scientist, Carnegie Institution
Elizabeth Wiltshire, graduate student, Biology department
Sharon Long, PhD