Dr Ranjan Swarup
Lecturer in Plant and Crop Sciences
Ranjan is a Molecular Cell Biologist with main interests in root gravitropism, auxin transport and protein trafficking. Current research areas include:
· Role of ER accessory proteins in root development
· Role of non-protein coding RNA in lateral root development
· Impact of root architecture on resource use efficiency
Root and Lateral root Development, Root Gravitropism, Protein Trafficking, Auxin Transport, AUX/LAX proteins, AXR4, ER Accessory Proteins, Non Protein Coding RNA, in situ mmunolocalisation, Confocal Microscopy.
Molecular Techniques in Biosciences
Molecular Biology of the Cell
Biology in Space and evolution of Biosphere
Molecular Biological Laboratory Skills
Plant Cell Signalling
Essay in Plant Science
PGM Practical Techniques
Root architecture impacts the efficient uptake of nutrients, minerals and water from the soil. A greater understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control root architectural traits… read more
Root architecture impacts the efficient uptake of nutrients, minerals and water from the soil. A greater understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control root architectural traits like lateral root development (Swarup et al 2008, Nature cell Biology, 10, 946-954) are likely to identify key regulators that may provide the tools to design novel strategies for future crop improvement programmes. My group is working on various aspects of root development programmes as summarised below-
In recent years it is emerging that regulatory long and small non protein coding RNAs (npcRNAs) are major players in regulating plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In contrast to small RNAs, much less is known about the large population of long npcRNAs. In plants, they have been implicated in the regulation of mRNA transcription, localisation and translation during different processes as nodulation, flowering time and flower development, abiotic stress responses and sex chromosome-specific expression. A greater understanding of npcRNAs and their role in regulating root architectural traits like lateral root development are likely to identify key regulators that may provide the tools to design novel strategies for future crop improvement programmes. As an ongoing collaboration between our group and Martin Crespi group at ISV, Gif, France, we are performing an in depth analysis of npcRNAs during LR formation to get an insight into how they regulate LR formation and responses to several abiotic and biotic stresses.
My work on AXR4 ((Dharamsiri and Swarup et al, 2006, Science, 318, 1218-1220) has identified a novel class of endoplasmic reticulum protein in plants that regulate targeting of multi membrane spanning proteins. Such proteins form a very important class of proteins that regulate many important physiological and biochemical processes and can have profound impact on plant growth and development. Currently, my group is investigating the role of AXR4 in regulating the trafficking of members of the AUX/LAX gene family (Swarup and Péret, 2012, Frontiers in Plant Science 3, 225-229).
The establishment and maintenance of membrane polarity is crucial during plant and animal development, helping specify cell fate, and to underpin numerous transport functions. For example, the polar targeting of auxin influx and efflux carriers at the apical and basal ends of the root cells, respectively, ensures the polar transport of the plant hormone auxin. Using a chemical genetic approach my group is investigating mechanisms of polar membrane targeting.
Besides polar membrane targeting, my group is also investigating the mechanisms of cell type specific targeting. Recently we showed that members of the auxin influx carrier family show cell type specific targeting in Arabidopsis root apex (Péret et al, Plant Cell, 24, 2874-2885).
Plant hormone auxin is crucial for plant growth and development. We mapped the tissues required for auxin transport and auxin response during root gravitropism (Swarup et al, 2005, Nature Cell Biology, 7, 1057-1065). This study revealed that epidermis is the primary site for auxin action during root gravitropism. Using an inducible version of a strong auxin repressor protein axr3, we are fine mapping kinetics of gravitropic response in Arabidopsis roots.