Mark D. Lazzaro - Research
My research program in plant cell biology engages undergraduates in the lab. Many students have presented their work at the College of Charleston School of Sciences and Mathematics annual poster session. Some have presented their work at national meetings and others are co-authors on publications. Most of my work involves live cell imaging and confocal microsopy. I have two main research models.
Polarized growth in conifer pollen tubes
Conifer pollen tubes exhibit polarized growth but their
underlying mechanims differ from growth in flowering plant
pollen tubes. These slower growing pollen tubes use
microtubules and their associated motors to regulate and
control elongation dependent on microfilaments and myosin.
This mechanism is similar to how polarized growth occurs
in mosses and ferns.
Acid secreting trichomes
Many plants are covered with trichomes, multicellular
hairs that secrete many different compounds. Chickpea
trichomes secrete hydrochlric acid and other compounds.
This acid can be quite strong, with a pH of 0.5 in
collected secretions! The mechanism controlling this
secretion is not known. These trichomes also contain a
system of tubular vacuoles which pass between cells
through a plasmodesmata like system.