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Plasmodesmata mediated intercellular communication

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Group leader : Emmanuelle Bayer, Research Director CNRS

contact :
Phone : 00 33 5 57 12 25 39
E-mail : emmanuelle.bayer@u-bordeaux.fr

researchgate profile
ORCID link

Emmanuelle Bayer obtained her PhD thesis in 2005 (A. Maule ; John Innes Centre U.K.), where she had worked on the plant-specific plasmodesmata intercellular channels. After a post doc in Switzerland where she worked on auxin polarised transport at the shoot apical meristem (2006-2009 ; C Kuhlemeier, Institute of Plant Science Switzerland). She obtained a permanent position at the CNRS in 2010 as junior research scientist and since 2015 she established her own group as Research Director and obtain an ERC funding for her project "BRIDGING". She was awarded bronze medal of the CNRS for her work and since January 2019 E. Bayer has joined the EMBO-young investigator program


Membres du groupe : E. Bayer (CR), M. Grison (AI), J. Petit (PhD), F. Immel (IR), M. Glavier (IR), P. Lee (PhD), Jesica Perez Sancho (Post-doc).

Plasmodesmata membrane-lined channels are of critical importance for the cohesive and collective organisation of plant multicellularity and as such essential for plant life. By establishing cytosolic continuity, plasmodesmata allow the dynamic and reciprocal exchange of information between cells, such as small RNA, transcription factor, hormones and metabolites. They are also targets for viruses that exploit them to spread throughout the plant.
Plasmodesmata are structurally unique : they consist of a strand of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) running through the pore, tethered extremely tightly ( 10 nm) to the plasma membrane (PM) by unidentified “spokes”. This classifies plasmodesmata as a specialised type of membrane contact site, where both the ER and the PM display extreme, and opposing membrane curvature. Specialisation of both the ER and PM lining plasmodesmata channels guarantees plasmodesmata unique function.

Plasmodesmata channels establish direct cytoplasmic and membrane (ER and PM) continuity between cells. Tilsner et al. 2015

The aim of our group is to understand what makes plasmodesmata unique with regards to their membrane organisation. We want to answer questions such as :

1) What is the role of ER-PM tethering with plasmodesmata and how this impact on plasmodesmata function ?
2) How are plasmodesmata organised within the narrow space between the ER and the PM (which can be as small as 20 nm !) ? Are these junctions plastic and how is this related to cell-to-cell connectivity ?
3) What are the molecular mechanisms underlying plasmodesmata specialised membrane arrangement and membrane remodelling events ?
4) What role lipis play in organising plasmodesmata specialised membrane domains ?

To address these questions, we are using multidisciplinary approaches from lipidomic/proteomic analyses of purified plasmodesmata, super-high resolution microscopy (electron tomography) to get access to plasmodesmata 3D architecture as well as more classical cell biology and plant genetics.

Sterols modulate cell to cell connectivity at plasmodesmata - Grison et al. Plant Cell 2015.

Plasmodesmata 3D architecture revealed by electron tomography (Nicolas et al. 2017) within plasmodesmata, the endoplasmic reticulum is furled into a rod and tethered to the plasma membrane.

Access to plasmodesmata structure by electron tomography in arabidopsis

Selection de publications :

  • Petit J, Li ZP, Nicolas WJ, Grison MS, Bayer EM (accepted for publication). Dare to change , the dynamics behind plasmodesmata-mediated cell-to-cell communication. Current Opinion in Plant Biol.
  • Grison MS, Kirk P, Brault M, Na Wu X, Schulze WX, Benitez-Alfonso Y, Immel F, Bayer EM* (2019) Plasma membrane associated Receptor Like Kinases relocalise to plasmodesmata in response to osmotic stress. Plant Physiol. 181:142-160 [recommended by F1000prime].
  • Brault ML, Petit JD, Immel F, Nicolas WJ, Glavier M, Brocard L, Gaston A, Fouché M, Hawkins TJ, Crowet J, Grison SM, Germain V, Rocher M, Kraner M, Alva V, Claverol S, Paterlini A, Helariutta Y, Deleu M, Lins L, Tilsner J*, Bayer EM* (2019) Multiple C2 domains and transmembrane region proteins (MCTP) tether membranes at plasmodesmata. EMBO Rep. e47182, p1–26 [recommended by F1000prime].
  • Yan D, Yadav SR, Paterlini A, Nicolas WJ, Petit JD, Brocard L, Belevich I, Grison MS, Vaten A, Karami L, El-Showk S, Lee JY, Murawska GM, Mortimer J, Knoblauch M, Jokitalo E, Markham JE, Bayer EM*, Helariutta Y*. (2019) Sphingolipid biosynthesis modulates plasmodesmal ultrastructure and phloem unloading. Nat Plants 5 : 604–615 [Commented by Amsbury and Benitez-Alfonso Tightening the pores to unload the phloem Nature Plants 5(6):561-562 10.1038/s41477-019-0450-8 ; recommended by F1000prime].
  • Bayer EM, Cali T Giordiano F, Hamacher-Brady A, and Pellegrini L. (2019) EMBO Workshop : Membrane Contact Sites in Health and Disease . Contact. (2) 1-8
  • Petit JD, Immel F, Lins L and Bayer EM (2019). Lipids or proteins : who is leading the dance at membrane contact sites ? Frontiers in Plant Science. 10:198. (review)
  • Nicolas W*, Bayer EM* & Brocard L*. (2018) The Study of three-dimensional structure of plasmodesmata in plant tissues by electron tomography. Bio-protocol 8 (1):e2681.
  • Bayer EM, Vanneste S., Sparkes I and Rosado A* (2017) From shaping organelles to signalling platforms : The emerging functions of plant ER-PM contact sites. Curr Opin Plant Biol.. 40:89-96. (review)
  • W. J. Nicolas, M. S. Grison, S. Trépout, A. Gaston, M. Fouché, F. P. Cordelières, K. Oparka, J. Tilsner, L. Brocard, and E. M. Bayer (2017). Post-cytokinesis plasmodesmata with no cytoplasmic sleeve are open for macromolecule trafficking Accepted in Nature Plants
  • Tilsner J, Nicolas W. Rosado A and Bayer E.M. (2016) Staying tight : plasmodesmal membrane contact sites and the control of cell-to-cell connectivity in plants. Annual Review of Plant Biology 67:23.1-23.28.
  • Grison MS, Brocard L, Fouillen L, Nicolas W, Wewer V , Dörmann P, Nacir H, Benitez-Alfonso Y, Claverol S, Germain V, Boutté Y, Mongrand S and Bayer EM (2015). Specific membrane lipid composition is important for plasmodesmata function. The plant Cell 27(4):1228-50.
  • Grison MS, Calvino-Fernandez L, Mongrand S, Bayer EM (2015). Isolation of Plasmodesmata from Arabidopsis Suspension Cell Culture for Lipidomic and Proteomic Analyses. Methods in Molecular Biology. (1217):83-93.
  • Bayer EM, Mongrand S, Tilsner J. (2014). Specialized membrane domains of plasmodesmata, plant intercellular nanopores. Frontiers in Plant Science doi : 10.3389/fpls.2014.00507. Editor review article.

Collaborations :

Jens Tilsner, School of Biology, University of Saint Andrews, U.K.
Yvon Jaillais, ENS/CNRS, Lyon, France.
Yrjö Helariutta, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, U.K.
Abel Rosado, University of British Columbia, Canada.
Laurence Lins, Biophysique moleculaire aux interfaces, University of Liège, Belgium.
Vikram Alva, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany

Lysiane Brocard, Bordeaux Imaging Centre, Bordeaux, France.
Sylvie German-Retana, National Agricultural Research Institute, University of Bordeaux, France

Former members :
E. Brossard (BTS)
J. Petit (Master)
M. Brault (IE ANR - ERC)
C. Chambaud (Master)
William Nicolas (PhD)
M. Chabane (BTS)
A. Gaston (Post-doc ANR)
M. Fouché (IE ANR)
N. Boisset (BTS)
H. Nacir (Master)