Independent Lecturer - E. Truernit
The plant phloem is part of the vascular tissue and consists of several highly-specialized cell types. Within the phloem cells, carbohydrates are getting transported from the sites of photosynthesis (mainly leaves) to the tissues that are dependent on carbohydrate import (roots, seeds, developing organs). In every newly forming organ, new phloem cells have to develop. These cells need to be connected to the already existing phloem network within a plant.
In spite of its important function in carbohydrate allocation, relatively little is known about the factors that specify phloem cells. We are currently studying the regulation and function of some genetic factors that are essential for proper phloem development. We are also constantly improving our techniques for the imaging of phloem cells using microscopy.