Transport processes are essential to take up and distribute nutrients within organisms. In order to understand the uptake and the regulatory mechanisms involved, we identify the respective transport proteins and characterize their biochemical function as well as their role in intra- and intercellular transport.
Our main interest is the transport of organic nitrogen compounds, like amino acids and peptides, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and protozoan parasites i.e.Trypansosoma brucei and Leishmania donovani.
Transport of peptides may enhance uptake and translocation of nitrogen within plants. Peptide transporters have been identified and their role in nitrogen allocation is being investigated.
This is a collaborative project involving groups of the University of Oxford (UK) and the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology (Potsdam-Golm, Germany). Both source and sink tissues of tomato plants will be engineered and transgenic lines will be screened for fruit yield. Furthermore, our sub-project will undertake research to identify transporters involved in fruit nitrogen allocation, yield and fruit quality.
We isolate and characterize amino acid transporters from parasitic protozoa i.e. Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania donovani and investigate their role for parasite growth, development and pathogenicity.
While many different transport functions have been characterized in the last few years, there is still surprisingly little known about their regulation. Furthermore, we are interested in identifying and characterizing transporters with novel functions and help colleagues with the characterization of transport proteins.