Recognizing Plant Physiology authors: Lena Maria Müller

Lena Maria Müller, first author of Constitutive overexpression of RAM1 leads to an increase in arbuscule density in Brachypodium distachyon

Current Position: Postdoctoral researcher at Boyce Thompson Institute/Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (USA)

Education: PhD in Plant Science and Policy: University of Zurich, Switzerland; B.S./M.Sc. in Biology: University of Tuebingen, Germany

Non-scientific Interests: I enjoy the outdoors, travelling, and being creative (pottery, painting, photography).

Brief bio: I first got in touch with plant biology as an undergraduate researcher studying vesicle trafficking during polar tip growth with Dr. Gerd Jürgens at the University of Tübingen (Germany). My growing interest in plant signaling led me to pursue my PhD work with Dr. Ueli Grossniklaus at the University of Zurich (Switzerland), where I investigated species-specific communication mechanisms between male and female gametophytes in the genus Arabidopsis. This work spiked my interest in cell-cell communication, and I moved to conduct a postdoc with Dr. Maria Harrison at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) at Cornell University (USA). Here I began to study plant signaling networks in the context of plant-fungal interactions during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis – a mutually beneficial interaction between plants and soil fungi centered on nutrient exchange. I am particularly fascinated by the molecular mechanisms of how plants reprogram their root cells to accommodate the fungal symbiont, and how local and systemic signaling within the plant fine-tunes fungal colonization. This Plant Physiology paper was a true team effort, and I am very grateful to all my co-authors.