Unraveling the mechanisms that control bundlesheath cell size in leaves of C4 plants
The biochemical adaptation of C4 plants is accompanied by a specific leaf structure called kranz anatomy. Plants exhibit an increased vein density and an enlarged bundlesheath (BSH), containing high numbers of organelles. The enlargement of BSH cell size is an important initial enabler of C4 evolution. Therefore the aim of this project is to unravel the mechanisms of BSH cell enlargement and implement them into Arabidopsis thaliana to make a first step towards synthetic C4 anatomy. Candidate genes inferred from transcriptome analyses of genera encompassing C3 and C4 species will be expressed in A. thaliana and their impact on BSH cell size and physiology measured using microscopy and transgenic marker lines.