PLAMORF: Long-distance RNA signalling in plants

Consortium

Objectives

PLAMORF is…

Challenge

PLAMORF focuses on Plant Mobile RNAs: Function, Transport and Features.

An essential consequence of multi-cellularity is the need for intercellular and tissue-wide communication, which happens through transport of signalling molecules. In higher plants long-distance transport of signalling molecules occurs mainly via  the phloem.

In addition to small molecules, a remarkably large number of macromolecules such as micro RNAs (miRNAs), protein producing messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have been identified in the phloem, representing additional classes of signalling molecules.

Research questions and approach

  • How are mobile RNAs selected for transport?
  • How specific is RNA mobility?
  • What determines their destination?
  • How are these signals processed in the destination cells?

We develop predictive models, using single cell transcriptomics to establish cell-type specific RNA transport and motifs, and study the structure, affinity, and functions of phloem transported RNAs associated proteins. We combine the advantages of the agronomically important oilseed rape with the well-established A. thaliana belonging to the same plant family.

The ERC

PLAMORF is funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC, set up by the EU in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe.

The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between grantees’ pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation.

News & Blog

Interview with PI Friedrich Kragler: achievements, pandemic and science in the spotlight

Interview with PI Friedrich Kragler about first achievements, the impact of the pandemic on PLAMORF research and how Covid-19 puts scientific progress in the spotlight.

Why mental health challenges should not keep you from becoming a scientist

PhD candidate Francisca Mendez Pinochet explains what it is like to do a PhD while dealing with a genetically caused panic disorder and wants to encourage others whose mental health is affected to be brave enough to choose a career in academia.

17 – 21 July 2022, PVB 2022: Plant Vascular Biology, Berlin

The sixth international conference on Plant Vascular Biology takes place in Berlin, Germany from July 17 – 21 2022

PLAMORF in a nutshell

Fact box

Title: Plant mobile RNAs: function, transport and features (PLAMORF)
Start: 1.4.2019
Duration: 6 years
Keywords: plant, tranport, mobile RNA, signalling, phloem, RNA-binding proteins, oilseed rape, A. thaliana
Budget: 6.1 million
Funding: ERC synergy grant

Research groups:

Friedrich Kragler, Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Golm, Germany
Julia Kehr, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Richard Morris, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom

 

Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 810131)