Group of auxin transport

Leader: Jan Petrášek

We focus on the molecular mechanism of polar auxin transport and on the ways of its regulation.

Polar auxin transport (PAT) is the process, in which plant hormone auxin is transported in a cell-to-cell manner. The word “polar” refers to the fact that this type of transport is directional, either within the region of a particular tissue or among tissues. Directionality of PAT is maintained by the interplay of diffusion and carrier-mediated transport of auxin across the plasma membrane. The reason why PAT plays a very important role in plant development is that it helps to establish auxin concentration gradients that subsequently regulate gene expression and also many other post-translational processes.

Our recent research is focused on the understanding of how plasma membrane-located and endomembrane auxin transporters contribute to the overall auxin homeostasis within the cells. Read more…

Group of metabolism and physiological function of cytokinins

Leader: Václav Motyka

We are engaged in the research of cytokinins – plant hormones that regulate cell division and differentiation.

Cytokinins are naturally occurring phytohormones that act in concert with auxins to regulate cell division and differentiation and thus efficiently control plant growth and development. A transient enhancement of auxin in relation to cytokinin levels induces root formation while the opposite shift results in shoot formation. Re-establishment of the two hormone quantitative ratios (hormonal homeostasis) is essential for the further development of induced events.

Our research is focused on the metabolic regulation of intra- and extracellular levels of cytokinins and their cooperation with auxins and other phytohormones to understand cytokinin physiological role in plants. We are especially interested in the study of pathways and mechanisms down-regulating cytokinin concentrations in plant cells. Read more…

Group of the role of phytohormones in the interaction with environment

Leader: Radka Vaňková

We focus on the elucidation of plant defence mechanisms, with the aim to contribute to the development of effective strategies to enhance the stress tolerance of plants.

Due to their sessile character, plants had to evolve complex systems of defence against and adaption to the variable and often unfavourable environmental conditions. These systems involve mechanisms to sense nutrient abundance or stress conditions and to generate and transduce signals, which result in modulation of transcription and translation profiles and subsequently of metabolism, leading to effective changes in growth and development. The character of the individual responses depends on the type of stress, its strength and duration, as well as on the physiological state of the plant, its developmental stage and the strategy to cope with the particular stress.

Our main interest has been the evaluation of hormone functions in abiotic and biotic stress responses, namely their cross-talk, organ specificity and dynamics during stress progression. Read more…

Group of mathematical modelling

Leader: Klára Hoyerová

We use a mathematical modelling approach to unravel mechanisms regulating the auxin and cytokinins action in plants.

Mathematical modelling and similar computational approaches are getting increasingly popular in various fields of biology as they offer the possibility to combine multiple datasets and assay results in order to probe hypotheses or measure properties that cannot be addressed in a single experimental design. Down below, we show examples of studies where we employed mathematical modelling methods. Read more…

Group of MECHANOMICS of directional root growth

Leader: Katarzyna Retzer

We combine live-cell imaging and cell biology approaches with omics data to reveal molecular mechanisms that underpin mechanoadaptation of epidermal root cells during directional root growth.

Roots adjust their growth continuously according to everchanging conditions they experience while they are growing through the soil. We investigate how exogenous stimuli interfere with directional root growth correction by altering the flexibility of epidermal cell file rotation and the ability of controlled cell expansion in the root elongation zone. By combining live-cell imaging with proteomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics we compare the distribution of plasma-membrane integrated auxin transporter at tissue to sub-cellular level with changes in polar auxin transport flux and free auxin availability depending on abiotic stress stimuli. Read more…

Analytical unit

Leader: Petr Dobrev

We improve the existing and develop new analytical procedures for purification, quantification and metabolic profiling of plant hormones and other bioactive substances of plant origin. Read more…