Vidali Lab Research

Polarized Cell Growth in Plants

The cytoskeleton in vesicle transport

Plant shape and growth are determined by cellular morphology and cell growth. Hence, cell growth is essential for plants to survive and adapt, and understanding the molecular mechanisms that control plant cell growth will be critical for designing plants with improved and beneficial characteristics.

In the Vidali Lab, we study cell growth using as a model system the protonemal cells of the moss Physcomitrium patens. These cells grow by tip growth, where secretion and cell wall expansion are limited to the most apical domain. We combine molecular, genetic, and biochemical methods with live-cell imaging and mathematical modeling to investigate the role of the cytoskeleton, exocytosis, and cell wall mechanics in cell growth.

The apical F-actin "spot" visualized by laser scanning confocal microscopy of Lifeact-mEGFP

Cell Signaling and Plant-Pathogen Interactions

Fungal perception and intracellular calcium


One-week-old moss plant expressing the cytosolic calcium sensor GCaMP6f. Calcium spiking and oscillations were induced by exposing the plant to chitin oligosaccharides.