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.
- Divide and Conquer: The Initiation and Proliferation of Meristems, CRITICAL REVIEWS IN PLANT SCIENCES (2021)
- Down-regulation of Fra a 1.02 in strawberry fruits causes transcriptomic and metabolic changes compatible with an altered defense response, HORTICULTURE RESEARCH (2021)
- Precise transcriptional control of cellular quiescence by BRAVO/WOX5 complex in Arabidopsis roots, MOLECULAR SYSTEMS BIOLOGY (2021)
- BAM1/2 receptor kinase signaling drives CLE peptide-mediated formative cell divisions in Arabidopsis roots, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (2020)
- BioVision Tracker: A semi-automated image analysis software for spatiotemporal gene expression tracking in Arabidopsis thaliana, Methods in Cell Biology (2020)
- Editorial overview: Directionality and precision – how signaling and gene regulation drive plant development and growth, CURRENT OPINION IN PLANT BIOLOGY (2020)
- Gene Regulatory Network Inference: Connecting Plant Biology and Mathematical Modeling, Frontiers in Genetics (2020)
- MAGIC: Live imaging of cellular division in plant seedlings using lightsheet microscopy, Methods in Cell Biology (2020)
- Novel Imaging Modalities Shedding Light on Plant Biology: Start Small and Grow Big, Annual Review of Plant Biology (2020)
- Protein complex stoichiometry and expression dynamics of transcription factors modulate stem cell division, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020)
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)