Shaping Patterns in Plant Development
We study how positional cues govern tissue patterning and organ shape, and how lineage-specific stem cells are initiated, maintained or terminally differentiate during plant development. To address such fundamental questions in developmental biology, we use patterning and differentiation of stomata as a model. Stomata are small valves serving as an interface between plants and atmosphere, and their presence is essential for plant survival and our global environment. We have unraveled that intricate cell-cell communications mediated by peptide and small chemical signals influence the pattern of stem cell divisions and fate specification, and that master regulatory transcription factors work in concert with cell cycle machinery to orchestrate stem cell proliferation and differentiation. We aim to elucidate how functional tissue patterns are generated using cross-disciplinary approaches using genetics, genomics, cell biology to mathematical modeling. Furthermore, together with synthetic chemists and structural biologists, we aim to develop artificial ligand-receptor systems with novel activities to understand and manipulate plant development and signaling.
Plant Stomata and Our Sustenance
The Mechanisms of Stomatal Development
Orchestrating the single division event
Signaling Peptides Coordinating Plant Development
Harnessing Synthetic Chemistry for Plant Growth Signaling