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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Role of membrane transporters in light-regulated seedling development

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Light is one of the most important environmental conditions controlling plant growth and development and has a major impact on agricultural productivity. Light control of plant development is most dramatically illustrated in seedling development.

The transition from a dark-grown seedling to a light-grown, photosynthetically-active seedling is characterized by extensive changes in morphology and gene expression. Associated with this are changes in the distribution of carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients that will require changes in the expression of a wide variety of membrane proteins including transporter genes. To address which membrane proteins are important at this critical developmental stage we have previously taken an unbiased approach through the analysis of microarray datasets to identify light-regulated genes (induced or repressed) involved in seedling development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Using this approach we have identified a number of predicted membrane protein genes including known membrane transporter genes and also membrane proteins of unknown function. Currently we are elucidating the role of these membrane proteins in light-regulated seedling development.

Related research groups

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
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