Sugar allocation from photosynthetic to heterotroph organs, is critical for the adjustment of plant growth and development under contrasting environments.
Growth relies on sugar transport between organs or tissues, which depends on the demand of the different organs. Our goal is to identify the key factors controlling sugar transport and homeostasis in higher plants and to assess their role in plant development.
Photosynthetic organisms, mainly plants, synthesize sugars from atmospheric CO2. Sugars are stored as soluble sugars, starch or wall polysaccharides in various plant organs, which constitute plant biomass. Depending on species, they are stored in fruits, wood, tubers, grain or roots. We are interested in the processes involved in the allocation of sugars from source organs (photosynthetic) to sink and storage organs (heterotrophs) by taking in account: 1) long-distance transport between organs mainly supported by the phloem, 2) marginal redistribution by the xylem, 3) lateral transfer from vascular to adjacent tissues, a process that has been largely neglected, 4) primary metabolism acting at the level of plant tissue. These processes also act in the plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Our research focuses on the identification of the molecular factors involved in the regulation of these processes, by developing an integrative biology approach with 1) functional analysis of mutants altered in different stages of sugar transport and 2) "omic" analyses of the plant responses to different environmental constraints, focusing on the gene networks involved in the transport and metabolism of sugars.
This research aims to describe the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of sugar transport and homeostasis. The long-term objective is to identify the processes fine-tuning the production of biomass and controlling the quality of plant products.