Matyas Fendrych gets prestigeous ERC Starting grant
While cell migration plays a crucial role in animal cell development, plants build their bodies through careful cell division and precise cell growth control. The reason is that the plant cells are encased by a solid cell wall that resists the hydrostatic pressure inside the cells. Even though the control of cell growth is in the epicenter of plant development and their response to the ambient environment, the molecular pathways steering the developmental cell growth onset, coordination and termination remain elusive. This is also the case with the plant hormone auxin; although it is the central regulator of cell growth, the molecular mechanism of its effect is unknown. The aim of the project is to unravel this molecular mechanism and understand how plants grow at the molecular and cellular level. “Our model system is the root of the thale-cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), in which we will combine the search for genes and proteins with special microscopy that will allow us to see physiological processes in high spatio-temporal resolution. A detailed understanding of plant growth mechanisms opens the door to understanding one of the essentials of the plant life”, explains Dr Fendrych.
Matyáš Fendrych, Ph.D., studied Biology at the Faculty of Sciences of Charles University and completed his PhD at the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Since he returned to the Czech Republic after having worked for several years with research institutes in Belgium and Austria, he has been building a research team at the Faculty of Sciences of Charles University. “The ERC Starting Grant will allow me to build a team and attract top students and researchers not only from abroad”, hopes Dr Fendrych.
Press release of European Research Council.