Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology

Eleftheria Saplaoura


I am a molecular biologist from Greece, currently working as a postdoctoral researcher with interest in RNA biology. Plants, like humans, consist of multiple cells but plants cannot move and do not have a central nervous system. Therefore, in order for plant cells to communicate and coordinate their growth they need to exchange signals via a robust communication system. Phloem is the tubing system that connects the whole plant, from roots to flowers, and transports nutrients and signals. Interestingly, messenger RNAs (mRNA) are one of the mobile signals, but the exact mechanism and selection of what is transported is still unclear. An mRNA carries the genetic information to make a protein; it is the RNA version of a gene. As signals, they control many aspects of plant development and understanding this mysterious mechanism of cell-to-cell communication might help us adjust farming to climate change.