Yu Chen: The Plant Cell First Author

Yu Chen, co-first author of “MOR1/MAP215 acts synergistically with katanin to control cell division and anisotropic cell elongation in Arabidopsis”

Current Position: Ph.D. candidate, College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China

Education: Bachelor Degree from Hainan University, China

Non-scientific Interests: Amateur Astronomy, Road Trip

Brief Bio: I love plant biology because it is interesting and peaceful. After my undergraduate study, I worked for a little while and then decided to continue my study in the field of plant biology. I joined Dr. Fei Yu’s group at Northwest A&F University to pursue my Ph.D. degree. Research in our lab centers on the environmental adaptation mechanisms of plant growth and development. My work started with a forward genetics screen. I think the process of screening mutants is like the plot of a detective novel. With a careful design and meticulous observation, you can often find unexpected phenotypes and mutants. Combine the clues given by phenotypes and genome resequencing, you can determine the candidate mutation. Finally, restoring the mutant to “WT” phenotype with genetic complementation, just like the final catch of the criminal. We identified the Arabidopsis mor1-10 mutant by screening mutants that are hypersensitive to a microtubule destabilizing drug. MOR1 is a member of the MAP215 family of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). Expressing a functional MOR1-GFP fusion complemented mor1-10 and also allowed us to directly observe the dynamic localizations of MOR1 in living cells. We next found genetic and physical interactions between MOR1 and the microtubule severing enzyme KTN1. With genetic analysis and live confocal imaging, we establish that MOR1 and KTN1 synergistically regulate cell division and cell expansion in Arabidopsis. In the future, I plan to explore additional functional interactions between plant MAPs.

论文:MOR1/MAP215 acts synergistically with katanin to control cell division and anisotropic cell elongation in Arabidopsis