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Long-distant transport in characean algae
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) ;
Transcellular permeation and long-distance transport of solutes are particularly important because they deliver the photosynthetic assimilates to growing cells and enable trafficking of signalling substances involved in the development of multicellular organisms. These transport mechanisms strongly rely on the mechanical and viscoelastic properties of the cellular cytoplasm. In recent years, studies of active transport in various biological and artificial systems become a focus of intensive research. In particular, self-assembly and collective behaviour of active systems appear to have many similarities across the lengthscales. Understanding the physiological relevance of those phenomena in biological systems is essential. Characean algae provide a unique opportunity to study cyclosis-driven intercellular transport on the length scale of a few centimetres. In this proposal, we are going to explore the long-distant transport in characean cell chains and understand how the viscoelastic properties of the cytoplasm determine the transport of photo-metabolites under variable conditions. We are going to employ magnetic nano/microparticles and magnetic emulsions for measurement of the viscoelastic response and targeting biologically active materials in the cytoplasm. This will allow us to establish the relation between the rheology of the cytoplasm and the formation of the heterogeneities in the external pH (pH bands) and the photosynthetic activity. A new noninvasive method will be developed to study the plasmodesmal permeation by naturally produced photometabolites and to elucidate the physiological means for modulation of cell-to-cell conductance. We intend to establish how the permeability of the plasmodesmata depends on the cyclosis velocity and the presence of the salinity stress in the species with different mechanisms of adaptation to the environment osmoticity. Furthermore, we expect to clarify the role of the circulating electric currents in intercellular communications and formation of structures with various photosynthetic activities.

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