The union of a sperm with the egg is one of the most
remarkable examples of cell-cell recognition in nature. In flowering plants, a
double gametic fusion event (double fertilization) occurs between two sperm
cells with each of the female gametes, the egg and the central cell leading to
the formation of a zygote and the supporting nourishing endosperm within a seed.
The distinctive efficacy of double fertilization relies on complex molecular interactions
occurring at the membrane interface of both gamete pairs. Despite the discovery
of several fertilization factors the molecular interactions and downstream
signaling pathways leading to zygotic activation remain a biological mystery.
Our research uses genetic, cell biology, biochemical, proteomic,
and functional genomics tools to investigate processes regulating:
1. Development and biology of plant gametes
2. Signal transduction pathways in gamete recognition and
3. Contribution of sperm cell factors to zygotic activation
We are particularly interested on
the role of Tetraspanins expressed in plant gametes. Tetraspanins are a group
of membrane proteins recognized for their functions as critical mediators of
cell-cell interactions including sperm-egg fusion in mammals.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=POpPAhEAAAAJ&hl=en
The lab embraces diversity, equity, and
inclusion. We are committed in creating a safe space for research and training
of a new generation of plant scientists. We welcome all students devoted and
inspired by our research mission.