How to make a hinge - cell wall patterning in Cardamine hirsuta fruit

Seed dispersal is a physical process in which seeds are moved from one location to another. And evolution has shaped a multitude of ingenious adaptations for plants to disperse their seeds. Perhaps most intriguing from a mechanical perspective, are the fruits that generate their own explosive force to eject their seeds. We study this trait of explosive seed dispersal in the Arabidopsis relative, Cardamine hirsuta. The explosive release of fruit tension is controlled at the cellular scale in C. hirsuta by secondary cell wall patterning. The precise patterning of thin hinges in the endocarp b cell wall is an innovation associated with the evolution of explosive seed dispersal in the Brassicaceae. This project will address the genetic basis of secondary cell wall patterning in endocarp b cells of C. hirsuta fruit.

The project will be supervised by Angela Hay at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research.

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