Area(s) of Expertise
Our growing society faces new and dynamic challenges such as global climate change, the scarcity of arable land and the need for sustainable energy. Maximizing the utility of plants in each of these areas is key to meeting these challenges. Overall growth rate and biomass is largely regulated by the temporal and spatial control of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation of their progeny. When a stem cell divides it produces a copy of itself, and it produces a daughter cell that can develop into different types of cells. The means and mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly understood.
The Sozzani Lab research focuses on understanding how stem cells are organized and maintained in the root of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our goal is to gain a coherent qualitative and quantitative understanding of stem cell maintenance at the systems-level. Our research leverages techniques derived from molecular, developmental and cell biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and engineering. In plant systems, stem cell regulation has clear implications for increasing the production of crops used for food, fiber and fuel. Our research will reveal a specific molecular pathway of plant stem cells, and provide broader insights into the fundamental properties of stem cells across the plant and animal kingdoms.
- Exposure to heavy metal stress triggers changes in plasmodesmatal permeability via deposition and breakdown of callose (2018)
- GTL1 and DF1 regulate root hair growth through transcriptional repression of ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE 6-LIKE 4 in Arabidopsis (2018)
- Auxin minimum triggers the developmental switch from cell division to cell differentiation in the Arabidopsis root (2017)
- Dose-duration reciprocity for G protein activation: Modulation of kinase to substrate ratio alters cell signaling (2017)
- Framework for gradual progression of cell ontogeny in the Arabidopsis root meristem (2017)
- Genetic architecture and molecular networks underlying leaf thickness in desert-adapted tomato Solanum pennellii (2017)
- Predicting gene regulatory networks by combining spatial and temporal gene expression data in Arabidopsis root stem cells (2017)
- Light sheet microscopy reveals more gradual light attenuation in light-green versus dark-green soybean leaves (2016)
- Multi-sample Arabidopsis growth and imaging chamber (MAGIC) for long term imaging in the ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1 (2016)
- Tracking transcription factor mobility and interaction in Arabidopsis roots with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (2016)
Ph.D., Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Pavia, Italy (2006)
M.S., Biological Science, University of Pavia, Italy (2002)
B.S., Biological Science, University of Pavia, Italy (2000)