New NSF funding to the Meier lab
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Iris Meier for her $1,237,918 award from the NSF to study a molecular role for plant LINC complexes in pollen tube and guard cell function.! This project explores the function of a new class of plant proteins that are located at the periphery of the nucleus - the center of genetic information - in the plant cell. These enigmatic protein complexes connect the inside of the nucleus to the cytoplasm - the part of the cell that surrounds the nucleus - and are important for a number of plant functions. This project will explore two functions. First, their role in pollen tubes, which are essential for fertilization and seed production (grain yield) in flowering plants. And second, guard cells, the cells that control the opening and closing of apertures (stomata) in the leaf of the plant, which regulate the movement of carbon dioxide from the air into the plant, and of water (as vapor) from plant leaves into the air. The uptake of carbon dioxide from the air and the loss of water from the plant are of added significance in the face of increasingly frequent climate events such as drought, temperature extremes and the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere. In addition to training postdoctoral scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students, in cell and molecular biology, the project contains an outreach project involving art to visualize aspects of the research and present them to the broader public. Congratulations to Iris and her lab!!!