Staffan Persson

Staffan Persson


I’m a professor in Plant Cell Biology, a coordinator of the Center for Advanced Bioimaging (CAB) and the head of Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC).

I’m furthermore DNRF Chair, a Villum Investigator and an NNF Laureate.

Outside of UCPH, I’m a professor at University of Melbourne (UoM) and a Visiting professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU).


Current research

My lab aims at understanding how plants produce their cell walls, with a particular focus on the prominent cell wall polymer cellulose. This is the major contributor to the biomass of a typical plant and consists of glucan chains that are hydrogen-bonded into microfibrils, which also provide the major strength to the cell wall. Consequently, cellulose is a major determinant for directed plant growth and provides stature to plants. Cellulose is produced at the plasma membrane by large multimeric cellulose synthase (CESA) complexes. These complexes move forward through the membrane during synthesis because the cellulose microfibrils are entangled in the cell wall and further synthesis therefore pushes the complex forward through the plasma membrane. The direction of the movement is typically directed by cortical microtubules. A major goal of the group is to understand how the CESA complex is regulated, what the components involved in making cellulose are, how the microtubules impact on cellulose synthesis and the means that the cell wall uses to communicate with the interior of the cell.

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