Research Program in the Geitmann Lab

How is genetic information translated into shape and function? We try to answer this question focusing on the last step in the chain of events - the morphogenesis of cells into a functional shape. We are interested in understanding the mechanical underpinnings of cellular geometry in plants. One of our model systems is the pollen tube, a cellular protrusion formed by germinating pollen grains. Recent projects include:
 

Cell Morphogenesis and Cell Wall Mechanics
Increase in size or change of geometry in plant cells requires the controlled yielding of the cell wall to the internal hydrostatic pressure. More.....

Cytoskeletal Control of Growth
Pollen tubes have the function to rapidly grow and deliver the sperm cells from the pollen grain to the ovule. In order to find its target, the pollen tube needs to be able to perceive external clues. More.....

Plants and Gravity
How do plants perceive the orientation and magnitude of gravity? We investigate how gravity affects cellular functions. More.....

Intracellular Transport Logistics
Cells consist of different compartments and to shuttle material and substances between them, vesicle carriers are used. These small, membrane-bound organelles are crucial for cell functioning. More.....

TipChip - an In Vitro Research Platform at Microscopic Scale
We developed a Lab-on-a-Chip research platform that allows investigating individual pollen tubes using microscopic test devices based on MEMS-technology. More.....

Biomechanics of Mycorrhizal Spores
Mycorrhizal fungi live in symbiosis with the roots of numerous plants species. Plant growth is significantly enhanced in the presence of these fungi. More.....