Professional Education

  • Diplom, University of Potsdam (2008)
  • Doctor, University of Potsdam (2012)

Stanford Advisors

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My research interest involves the development of plant leaves. Like animals, plants form complex multicellular organs, such as leaves, out of individual stem cell populations. These stem cells need to make fate decisions in order to attain a specialized shape and function. I use molecular genetics and microscopy- based methods to investigate how individual stem cells make the decision to commit to a certain fate. In particular, I am interested in the development of stomatal pores which decorate the leaf surface of land plants and allow them to exchange water vapor and carbon dioxide with the atmosphere.

In the long run, I hope through my science i can contribute to questions regarding global climate change and water availability. Since stomatal pores are the direkt nexus between plants and the atmosphere, their functioning affects atmospheric carbon dioxide and water contents. In the light of this vast importance for plant viability and global climate, it is mesmerizing how much there is yet to learn.

All Publications

  • Patterning and Lifetime of Plasma Membrane-Localized Cellulose Synthase Is Dependent on Actin Organization in Arabidopsis Interphase Cells PLANT PHYSIOLOGY Sampathkumar, A., Gutierrez, R., McFarlane, H. E., Bringmann, M., Lindeboom, J., Emons, A., Samuels, L., Ketelaar, T., Ehrhardt, D. W., Persson, S. 2013; 162 (2): 675-688


    The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons regulate cell shape across phyla, from bacteria to metazoans. In organisms with cell walls, the wall acts as a primary constraint of shape, and generation of specific cell shape depends on cytoskeletal organization for wall deposition and/or cell expansion. In higher plants, cortical microtubules help to organize cell wall construction by positioning the delivery of cellulose synthase (CesA) complexes and guiding their trajectories to orient newly synthesized cellulose microfibrils. The actin cytoskeleton is required for normal distribution of CesAs to the plasma membrane, but more specific roles for actin in cell wall assembly and organization remain largely elusive. We show that the actin cytoskeleton functions to regulate the CesA delivery rate to, and lifetime of CesAs at, the plasma membrane, which affects cellulose production. Furthermore, quantitative image analyses revealed that actin organization affects CesA tracking behavior at the plasma membrane and that small CesA compartments were associated with the actin cytoskeleton. By contrast, localized insertion of CesAs adjacent to cortical microtubules was not affected by the actin organization. Hence, both actin and microtubule cytoskeletons play important roles in regulating CesA trafficking, cellulose deposition, and organization of cell wall biogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1104/pp.113.215277

    View details for Web of Science ID 000319819900012

    View details for PubMedID 23606596

  • Impaired Cellulose Synthase Guidance Leads to Stem Torsion and Twists Phyllotactic Patterns in Arabidopsis CURRENT BIOLOGY Landrein, B., Lathe, R., Bringmann, M., Vouillot, C., Ivakov, A., Boudaoud, A., Persson, S., Hamant, O. 2013; 23 (10): 895-900

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000319482900025

    View details for PubMedID 23623553

  • Identification of a cellulose synthase-associated protein required for cellulose biosynthesis PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Gu, Y., Kaplinsky, N., Bringmann, M., Cobb, A., Carroll, A., Sampathkumar, A., Baskin, T. I., Persson, S., Somerville, C. R. 2010; 107 (29): 12866-12871


    Cellulose synthase-interactive protein 1 (CSI1) was identified in a two-hybrid screen for proteins that interact with cellulose synthase (CESA) isoforms involved in primary plant cell wall synthesis. CSI1 encodes a 2,150-amino acid protein that contains 10 predicted Armadillo repeats and a C2 domain. Mutations in CSI1 cause defective cell elongation in hypocotyls and roots and reduce cellulose content. CSI1 is associated with CESA complexes, and csi1 mutants affect the distribution and movement of CESA complexes in the plasma membrane.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1007092107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280144500031

    View details for PubMedID 20616083