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  • Cellular and Developmental Biology of Plants

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Research topics & objectives

The major theme of our research is how single-​cell organisms evolved into multicellular organisms with differentiated cells.

More specifically, we study embryogenesis, morphogenesis, photoreception, phototaxis, and ECM biosynthesis of multicellular green algae at the molecular and cellular levels and relate the results to those in unicellular relatives.

The Hallmann Lab uses current approaches of molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, genetic engineering and molecular imaging to address questions such as:

How did multicellularity and cellular differentiation evolve? Why do multicellular organisms need cell differentiation? How does embryogenesis work? How do cell sheets fold to develop the shape of an organism? Which photoreceptors exist in multicellular green algae and how do they work? How does a multicellular green alga move towards or away from light? How are complex extracellular structures formed and what are the functions of the extracellular matrix in multicellular organisms? What are the differences to closely related unicellular organisms?

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