We are interested in phospholipid synthesis and turnover, more specifically phosphocholine, the major non-plastid cellular membranes phospholipid in plants, as in most eukaryotes.
Besides being a major membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine can be hydrolysed into choline and phosphatidic acid. Phosphatidic acid is widely recognized as a second messenger in stress signalling and choline can be oxidized within the chloroplast to yield the putative osmoprotectant glycine betaine. In plants the triple methylation of phosphoethanolamine to phosphocholine catalysed by phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEAMT) is considered a rate limiting step in the de novo synthesis of phosphatidylcholine.
Our focus is on this pathway and its role on the plasticity of growth and development.