Exploiting polyphosphoinositides for the improvement of crop performance
Polyphosphoinositides are membrane associated lipids and key regulators of cell trafficking and signaling processes. They are involved in almost any mechanism of signal perception and transmission, thus placing themselves among those cell components playing a pivotal role in mechanisms related to stress responses, developmental regulation and disease.
Polyphosphoinositides are found in both mammalian and plant systems and genetic manipulation of the enzymes regulating their synthesis, isomer formation or break down may shift regulatory pathways towards the development of desirable or undesirable traits. Characteristically in mammalian systems they are crucial in maintaining the balance in glucose uptake and cell division whereas in plants are involved in abiotic stress responses such as drought and salinity.
Recent work by our group has identified novel partners of these molecules which play an important role in seed germination under adverse environmental conditions. Notably, our recently published results [J Proteomics 2013; 91:580-94 | PLoS One 2012;7(11)] point to the existence of a polyphosphoinositide that has not been previously identified and characterized in plants. Furthermore, our ongoing work extends the research frontiers in the domain of protein quality control mechanisms.
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Theodora Farmaki, INAB | CERTH