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Lundbeck Fonden 2020

Microtubules are key to the cytoskeleton, supporting important functions in cell biology, including trafficking, cell division and elongation, and cell shape. The organization and dynamics of microtubules are regulated by microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). We discovered a MAP in plants that maintains microtubule stability and cellulose synthesis during salinity stress. This protein has striking biophysical similarities to a prominent MAP, called Tau, in neurobiology. Tau function is important to prevent neurological malfunctions, sometimes referred to as Tauopathies, related to Alzheimer’s. We have identified several other plant MAPs that are reminiscent of MAPs in neurons. This project aims to functionally characterize these MAPs to better appreciate their role in plant and neuronal biology.

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