Aarhus University Seal

The sweet and sour of sugar uptake in plants – a structural take

PhD defense, Friday 3 February 2023, Laust Bavnhøj

Laust Bavnhøj

During his PhD studies, Laust Bavnhøj investigated sugar transport proteins involved in sugar uptake across plant cell membranes. Sugar transport is indispensable for the growth and development of plants as well as their responses to environmental cues.

Laust Bavnhøj explored structural determination and biochemical characterization of sugar transporters from two central sugar transporters families, the Sugar Transport Protein (STP) family and the Sucrose Carrier (SUC) family that are unique to plants. The studies provide structural insights into the molecular basis of proton-driven sugar transport mechanisms of proteins from both families, which combined with biochemical investigations reveal structural elements that are pivotal for transport function. Unearthing these fundamental processes opens new routes for addressing future challenges related to a global food security and a rapidly changing environment.

The PhD study was completed at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 3 February 2023 at 13.00
Place: Building 1871, room 120, AUD 135, MBG, Aarhus University, Universitetsbyen 81, 8000 Aarhus C
Title of PhD thesis: Fueling the Cell – Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms of Sugar Uptake in Plants

Contact information: Laust Bavnhøj, e-mail: lb@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 30 20 63 22

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor David Drew, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Associate Professor Hussam Hassan Nour-Eldin, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 

Professor Ditlev Egeskov Brodersen (chair), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:

Associate Professor Bjørn Panyella Pedersen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark

Professor Gregers Rom Andersen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defense is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS,

Jens Baggesens Vej 53, building 5221, 8200 Aarhus N