Skip to main content

The Plant Cytoskeleton in Development


Plants are unique in many aspects of their biology. In particular, the cytoskeleton is at the centre of many cellular activities essential for cell division and elongation, but also for differentiation and multi-cellular development. It adopts several various spatially independent arrays unique to plant cells. Besides fundamental questions, all aspects of plant development, including its cellular bases, are of interest for agriculture and plant breeding. In this proposal, a combination of approaches in molecular genetics, biochemistry and cytology aims at understanding the function of a novel family of Arabidopsis proteins (TIMs) involved in the dynamics of the cytoskeleton. These proteins were isolated from an interaction screen with the TON protein as bait; mutations in TON genes abolish formation of the preprophase band of microtubules, a structure involved in the positioning of division planes in land plants.

TIM17 was recently shown to be dually targeted to both microtubules and actin filaments. Less than a handful of such proteins have been characterised in plants, and TIM proteins could be part of the elusive molecular link between the two tightly correlated networks. The research project aims at understanding the function of these proteins and their localisation in a cell, as well as the molecular bases for this dual targeting and the nature of their interaction with TON. During his PhD work in India, AM Prasad has acquired a strong background in plant biology and molecular genetics, including practical experience on Arabidopsis.

Of special interest to him will be training in key concepts and methods of plant cell biology and proteomics, which have undergone tremendous changes in the last decade; this will complement his repertoire of skills and be highly beneficial for his career. The host group is part of INRA's Versailles campus, devoted to plant biology, with all resources and facilities for functional genomics available on site.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call