Cortical microtubules labeled with EB1-mCherry and GFP-TUB6

Our research is motivated by the spectacular diversity of cell shapes in nature, which underlies the viability and adaptibility of organisms. In plants, nanoscale protein polymers called microtubules determine cell shape by spatially organizing the rigid cell wall. We want to understand how complex cortical microtubule arrays are created in the absence of a dedicated organizing center like the centrosome of animal cells and how these arrays orchestrate ordered deposition of cell wall material. To elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms, we use a multi-disciplinary and multi-scale approach combining live-imaging, in vitro reconstitution at the single-molecule level, molecular genetics and computational modeling.

We are also part of the new NSF-funded Center for Engineering Mechanobiology ( which seeks to understand how mechanical forces impact biology at the molecular, cellular and tissue scales.

Contact us at:
Biology Department
Washington University in St. Louis
1 Brookings Dr, CB 1137
St. Louis, MO 63130.
Lab phone: (314)-935 9080

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