Joint BioEnergy Institute Postdoctoral Researcher Estelle Schaefer was the lead author of a new study on plant cell division orientation released by Science on April XX. The study developed while Schaefer was affiliated with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in France and provides further insight into the actual mechanics of cell division in plants.
One phase of the cell division cycle is called mitosis, which is when replicated chromosomes are separated into two new nuclei. Mitosis occurs in several steps and in plants includes preprophase. Schaefer’s work focused on the preprophase band of microtubules, intracellular structures responsible for various movements within cells, and showed that this band controls the robustness of cell division orientation and consequent plant development.
Since completing her PhD three years ago, Schaefer has worked in the field of cell wall biosynthesis with Henrik Scheller (Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division) at JBEI. She will soon transition to the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) where she will work with John Vogel to study the interactions between Brachypodium roots and microbes of the rhizosphere.