Research

Glycosylation is one of the fundamental processes of life. The addition of sugars onto proteins or lipids and building complex sugar chains is essential for many biological processes. For plants, this is particularly important since diverse sugars connected through many different linkages make up the plant cell wall. The cell wall is a structure that surrounds each cell and plays key roles in plant growth, mechanical integrity and defense. The assembly of these intricate walls, as well as the addition of glycan structures onto glycoproteins and membrane lipids, seems to be precisely organized. However many players involved in these processes remain poorly understood. Therefore, the Berit Ebert lab aims to understand the mechanisms that drive the controlled assembly of sugars within the secretory pathway by combining molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology and advanced microscopy. Biological questions we want to answer are how sugar substrates are supplied to the luminal pathways and what drives the continual and active interchange between the cytosol and cellular organelles? How complex sugar structures and macromolecules areĀ  assembled and what are the underpinning mechanisms defining these processes?