Research interests

Multi-cellularity is a fundamental concept of life on our planet. This concept of single cells taking over special functions in interaction with other cells in a multicellular body is striking and requires a very complex system of cell-to-cellcommunication during growth and activity of organisms. Elucidating comprehensive concepts of the development and function of multicellular systems is therefore challenging, but also essential to understand their functionality. Lateral growth of plant shoots and roots is based on the tissue-forming properties of a group of stem cells called the cambium, the activity of which leads to the production of secondary vascular tissue (wood and bast, see below). Considering its function as a stem cell niche that is essential for the constant production of new tissues, as well as its dependence on environmental cues, the cambium represents an ideal model for addressing questions concerning the regulation of cell identity and how growth processes are aligned with endogenous and exogenous requirements. Given these attractive properties, our laboratory investigates lateral plant growth in order to reveal general concepts of growth and development of multicellular organisms.