Plant Cell Wall Remodeling and Adaptation

Group Leaders
Group Members

Postdoctoral Researchers

PhD Students

Undergrad or Master Students


Environmental stress conditions, such as nutrient imbalance, temperature stress, drought, osmotic stress and salinity are unfavorable for plant growth. Most plants stop growing upon exposure to severe drought, osmotic stress or salt stress. These changes are tightly correlated with alterations in plant cell walls. Our group is interested in uncovering the molecular mechanisms involved in cell wall remodelling during plant growth and in response to environmental stress. Our research aims at integrating tissue-specific RNA sequencing, gene editing, plant histology and high-resolution imaging to investigate the dynamics of changes in primary and secondary cell wall composition, discover the molecular mechanisms behind these changes and develop new biotechnological tools for manipulating the cell wall properties.

Selected Publications

Piccinini L., Nirina Ramamonjy F., Ursache R.
Imaging plant cell walls using fluorescent stains: The beauty is in the details.
(2024) Journal of Microscopy, Mar 13. doi: 10.1111/jmi.13289.

Cantó-Pastor A., Kajala K., Shaar-Moshe L., Manzano C., Timilsena P., De Bellis D., Gray S., Holbein J., Yang H., Mohammad S., Nirmal N., Suresh K., Ursache R., Mason G.A., Gouran M., West D.A., Borowsky A.T., Shackel K.A., Sinha N., Bailey-Serres J., Geldner N., Li S., Franke R.B., Brady S.M.
A suberized exodermis is required for tomato drought tolerance.
(2024) Nature Plants. Jan;10(1):118-130. doi: 10.1038/s41477-023-01567-x.

Guzmán-Benito I., Achkar N.P., Bologna N.G., Ursache R.
CRISPR/Cas mediated in planta gene targeting: current advances and challenges.
(2023) Journal of Experimental Botany, Jul 18;74(13):3806-3820. doi:10.1093/jxb/erad072.

Ursache R., Fujita S., Dénervaud Tendon V., Geldner N.
Combined fluorescent seed selection and multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 assembly for fast generation of multiple Arabidopsis mutants.
(2021) Plant Methods, Oct 30;17(1):111.

Ursache R., Teixeira C., Dénervaud Tendon V., Gully K., De Bellis D., Schmid-Siegert E., Andersen T.G., Shekhar V., Calderon S., Pradervand S., Nawrath C., Geldner N., Vermeer J.E.M.
GDSL-domain proteins have key roles in suberin polymerization and degradation.
(2021) Nature Plants, Mar;7(3):353-364.

Ursache R., Andersen T.G., Marhavy P., Geldner N.
A protocol for combining fluorescent proteins with histological stains for diverse cell wall components.
(2018) The Plant Journal 93, 399–412.

Andersen T.G., Naseer S., Ursache R., Wybouw B., Smet W., De Rybel B., Vermeer J.E.M., Geldner N.
Diffusible repression of cytokinin signalling produces endodermal symmetry and passage cells.
(2018) Nature 555, 529–533.

Ursache R., Miyashima S., Chen Q., Vatén A., Nakajima K., Carlsbecker A., Zhao Y., Helariutta Y., Dettmer J.
Tryptophan-dependent auxin biosynthesis is required for HD-ZIP III-mediated xylem patterning.
(2014) Development. Mar;141(6):1250-9. 

Dettmer J.*, Ursache R.*, Campilho A.*, Miyashima S., Belevich I., O'Regan S., Mullendore D.L., Yadav S.R., Lanz C., Beverina L., Papagni A., Schneeberger K., Weigel D., Stierhof Y.D., Moritz T., Knoblauch M., Jokitalo E., Helariutta Y.
CHOLINE TRANSPORTER-LIKE1 is required for sieve plate development to mediate long-distance cell-to-cell communication.
(2014) Nature Communications. Jul; 10;5:4276.