The DynaMo Center is anchored within plant biology. We investigate dynamic processes at the molecular level in multicellular organisms with the aim to uncover universal principles behind them.
Ultimately, we envision to uncover how higher order of structure in biology enables a multicellular organism to function, and to sense and dynamically respond to the environment. To reach this aim our research program combines complementary approaches within molecular and synthetic biology, advanced bioimaging, biochemistry, transport biology, transport engineering, cell biology and systems biology.
As model system we use the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and its primary defense compounds, glucosinolates; a unique systems biology model given its extensive bioinformatic and genomic tools. To further broaden our view, we expand our research to other model organisms and pathways in a range of basic and applied projects that include yeast, E.coli, tobacco, algae and rape.
At DynaMo Center we are working on the following projects:
DynaMo Principal Investigators
Barbara Ann Halkier
Head of Center, Professor
Professor (UC Davis)
Our model system
Glucosinolates and Arabidopsis
Glucosinolates are a class of organic compounds that occur as specialized metabolites of almost all plants of the order Brassicales, including in Arabidopsis. Glucosinolates are ideal model metabolites for several reasons: all biosynthetic genes are known, key regulators have been identified, diverse regulatory mechanisms seem to be at play, membrane transporters are partly known.
Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress or mouse-ear cress) is a small flowering plant with a relatively short life cycle. Arabidopsis is a popular model organism in plant biology and genetics. Given its extensive ‘omics data and tools, natural variation and mutant collections it is ideal for our research purpose.