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.
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.