Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Stephan Grunewald

Stephan Grunewald, first author of The Tapetal Major Facilitator NPF2.8 is required for Accumulation of Flavonol Glycosides on the Pollen Surface in Arabidopsis thaliana

Current Position: PhD student, Department of Cell and Metabolic Biology, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle (Saale), Germany

Education: PhD student in the research group “Phenylpropanoid Metabolism” of Dr. Thomas Vogt, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Department of Cell and Metabolic Biology Halle (Saale), M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Biochemistry, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Non-scientific interests: drawing, etching, oil painting with egg tempera, and literature

Brief bio: Because of my inherent interest in nature, I studied Biochemistry at the Martin-Luther-University in Halle-Wittenberg (Germany). During my bachelor and my master thesis at the IPB I was introduced to the fascinating world of plant biochemistry. In parallel to my biochemistry classes, I joined some art courses in the University of Art and Design in Halle to develop my graphical interests. During my master thesis, I functionally expressed a gene encoding an Arabidopsis anther-specific flavonol glycosyltransferase. For my PhD thesis we decided to tackle the question how these flavonol glycoside, which are produced in the tapetum are translocated to the outer pollen wall. The ´notoriously challenging` characterization of plant transporters gave me the opportunity to combine a wide range of methods, ranging from classical protein biochemistry and molecular biology to (bio)synthesis of radiolabelled substrates and confocal laser scanning microscopy. ABC- and MATE-type transporters were considered as the most promising candidates to be required for this flavonoid transport. Our research now identified a member of the NPF-transporter family required for transport of these specialized plant metabolites to the pollen surface. The major results of my PhD thesis are presented in this manuscript.