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Welcome to the Roston Lab Website!

In the Roston lab, we study membrane remodeling.

Dynamic membrane remodeling is one of the cell's most important adaptations!
Scroll down to find out why...

QUICKLY MOVING MEMBRANES

Because plants do not change their behaviors to adapt to changes in the world around them, they must do so biochemically. As a result, on the chemical level, they are sometimes moving much faster than animals...

CELLS ARE DEFINED BY THEIR MEMBRANES

Most of what we see when we look at pictures of cells is membranes!

Membranes are important because they allow cells to interact with their environment and separate parts of the cell from each other. Without these separate compartments, cells could not function as efficiently, and eukaryotic cells could not function at all. Just a small amount of leakage from some organelle membranes is enough to cause cell death.

 

MEMBRANES ARE DEFINED BY THEIR LIPIDS

And their proteins and other components, of course. But lipids are the part which is usually most responsible for determining fluidity, rigidity, and the ability of the membrane to fold flexibly.
They can be thought of like membrane building blocks:

Altering a single gene can dramatically affect stress tolerance

CHANGES TO LIPID CONTENT OR DISTRIBUTION CHANGE MEMBRANE PROPERTIES

We study changes to membrane building blocks in plants to better understand the important roles of membranes in stress resistance and crop health.

In the image, all the plants have attempted to recover from the same freezing treatment, administered at the same time.