Mohamad Abbas

Mohamad Abbas photo

Project Title: 

Do plants have an altimeter?

Host Organisation: 

School of Bioscience, University of Nottingham

Short biography

After finishing my MSc working on bioactive molecules in the Lebanese University I moved to Valencia, Spain to work in the IBMCP with Prof. Miguel Blazquez to explain the role of auxin homeostasis and its role in differential growth and the involvement of gibberellins in it, which was my main PhD project. After this, I did a short postdoc in the same lab trying to develop a new method to enhance male fertility in plants in an attempt to fight the increasing global temperature and its devastating effect on seed/crop production. Just before my CASCADE-FELLOWS fellowship I was doing a postdoc in IST, Austria in Friml’s lab working on the regulation of auxin transport and cell polarity.

Brief description of research project

By definition, all aerobic organisms require oxygen to survive. The primary role of oxygen is the generation of ATP, the source of cellular energy.  Oxygen is also required to form essential molecules such as hormones, signalling molecules, neurotransmitters, etc. Plants, like every aerobic organism, depend on oxygen to thrive in nature. To what extent plants can sense oxygen and to what end is still not clear for us. Currently, we are working on discovering the role of oxygen in plant development and its role in plant adaptation to different environmental niches.

Our recent work shows, that the ability of plants to sense proper oxygen levels surrounding them is crucial for their development. Disturbing that ability on a genetic level can have severe consequences for growth, development and survival.