Dr Charlotte Kirchhelle

Post-doctoral Researcher
Charlotte Kirchhelle

Group leader

Dr Ian Moore.

Research Areas

Root morphogenesis. Membrane traffic.

Research Description

In multicellular plants, each cell is fixed in its relative position in the tissue by its surrounding rigid cell wall. In order to form organs of defined shape, changes in cell geometry and cell size have to be coordinated within a tissue. This coordination depends on precisely targeted transport of intracellular components to specific spatial domains of the cell through a process called membrane trafficking. In addition to polarisation at cell faces, our recent work has identified cell edges as important domains of cellular organisation during organ formation. A vesicle population defined by a regulatory component of membrane trafficking, RAB-A5c, clusters at geometric edges in young cells. Interference with RAB-A5c function results in severe defects in cell geometry and organ formation. However, the role of RAB-A5c at cellular edges is unclear. In my project, I aim to understand the function of RAB-A5c at cellular edges during cell and organ morphogenesis. I am using 4D imaging to RAB-A5c in relation to the cellular cytoskeleton and geometric changes of cells during growth.


Kirchhelle, C., Chow, C.-M., Foucart, C., Neto, H., Stierhof, Y.-D., Kalde, M., Walton, C., Fricker, M., Smith, Richard S., Jérusalem, A., Irani, I., and Moore, I. (2016). The Specification of Geometric Edges by a Plant Rab GTPase Is an Essential Cell-Patterning Principle During Organogenesis in Arabidopsis. Developmental Cell 36, 386-400.

Enugutti, B., Kirchhelle, C., and Schneitz, K. (2013). On the genetic control of planar growth during tissue morphogenesis in plants. Protoplasma 250, 651-661.

Enugutti, B., Kirchhelle, C., Oelschner, M., Torres Ruiz, R.A., Schliebner, I., Leister, D., and Schneitz, K. (2012). Regulation of planar growth by the Arabidopsis AGC protein kinase UNICORN. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 10915060-15065.