One of the most fascinating aspects of biology is the way in which individual cells communicate and coordinate to create highly complex organisms. In fact this coordination evolved several times during the history of our planet giving us an opportunity to compare and contrast developmental strategies used in different kingdoms.
The Heisler lab focuses on understanding how plants develop. In particular we aim to understand how plants create their amazingly symmetrical patterns of leaves and flowers, otherwise known as phyllotaxis. We also study how plant organs take on their particular shapes, for instance the flat shape of leaves.
Although these questions are fundamental, answering them will provide a means to control plant architecture, which is of critical importance to agriculture.
Our approach combines general molecular biology techniques such as genetics, genomics and biochemistry with cutting edge live-imaging and fine-scale genetic perturbations down to the single cell.
The lab moved from EMBL in Heidelberg Germany to the University of Sydney Australia in 2017.
What e do
Typical phyllotactic patterns found in nature