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Olena Vatamaniuk Lab

Mineral Ion Homeostasis and Heavy Metal Detoxification

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Welcome to the Vatamaniuk Lab!

We study the molecular mechanisms of mineral nutrient homeostasis and its interaction with toxic elements such as cadmium. We use multidisciplinary approaches including CRISPR/CAS9-mediated genome editing, scanning electron microscopy and synchrotron x-ray fluorescence imaging for the identification of mechanisms controlling metal transport processes in model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon, and most recently cereal crops, wheat and rice.

Current research focuses on three areas:

1) Comparative genomics of the transcriptional response to copper, iron and zinc deficiency, and cadmium toxicity

2) The role of mineral nutrients in plant fertility

3) Shoot-to-root signaling of mineral deficiency

Our ultimate goal is to contribute basic knowledge for the generation of high-yield “toxic metal-safe crops” with increased density of essential minerals in edible organs.

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