Dr. C. (Chrysoula) Pantazopoulou

Experimental and Computational Plant Development

 I am working in different aspects of shade avoidance syndrome  (SAS). Previous studies in our lab have shown that the earliest neighbor responses in dense stands of Arabidopsis are induced through touching of leaves and lead to hyponastic (upward) leaf movement. The resulting vertical Arabidopsis’ canopy structure yields light signals that result in typical shade avoidance responses. I investigate the mechanisms that stimulate hyponastic growth and subsequent elongation growth in dense stands. 

After the earliest neighbor response occur in Arabidopsis, thought touching of the leaves, the low R:FR signals are generated, creating  a heterogeneous light quality distribution inside the vertical canopy. Adequate responses to changes in R:FR are important for competitive success. These responses include upward leaf movement (hyponasty) and elongation of stems and petioles. How the detection and response to R:FR are spatially linked and how this spatial coordination between the two affects plant performance remains unresolved.