Research Group: Exploring P-type Pumps and Novel Crops

Global food security is facing unprecedented challenges as climate change threatens to drastically reduce plant productivity. In addition to affecting soil water content and salinity, climate change is influencing the distribution and incidence of plant pests. There is thus an urgent need to develop cultivars with increased tolerance to both biotic and abiotic stresses. Nine plant species provide most of humankind’s caloric intake, but, as a result of domestication and inbreeding, these plants have lost many traits required to withstand harsh environments and attacks by pests.

By comparison, there are about 380,000 wild plant species, many of which tolerate even the most challenging conditions. Nature therefore offers us tremendous genetic variation that could hold the key to ensuring food security. Instead of investigating how to make our current crops more robust, our research addresses how to transform underutilized plants that are already resilient into new crops. Our focus is on the perennial grass intermediate wheatgrass, an emerging grain crop; barley, a model grain crop; and the drought and salt stress-resilient plant quinoa

In another line of research, we study the structure, function and regulation of pumps that mediate primary active transport across membranes, particularly P-type ATPase pumps, which form a large superfamily in all forms of life. P-type ATPases pump cations (like essential metals, calcium and protons) and phospholipids across membranes. Well-characterized members are essential for many basic functions in cells and we aim to assign physiological functions to less-characterized pumps. All members of this family form a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate, hence the name P-type, and their diversity raises questions, such as how electrogenic pumps evolved, that we are trying to answer. We are also investigating the pumping mechanism and regulation of these biological nanomachines. Answering these questions will help us understand how primary active transport processes control nutrient uptake and allocation in plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Amalie Kofoed Bendtsen PhD Fellow +4535336975 E-mail
Anett Stéger PhD Fellow +4535333518 E-mail
Anton Frisgaard Nørrevang PhD Fellow +4528907574 E-mail
Cuiwei Wang Postdoc +4535334911 E-mail
Guangbin Luo Postdoc +4535332099 E-mail
Luu Trinh Postdoc +4535332362 E-mail
Max William Moog PhD Fellow +4535326667 E-mail
Michael Broberg Palmgren Professor +4535332592 E-mail
Xu Zhai Special Consultant +4535324143 E-mail

Master students

  • Simon Skovbæk Hansen