Dr. Elias Bassil
Tropical Research & Education Center Assistant Professor - Molecular Plant Stress Physiology
Dr. Bassill is an integrative plant biologist with a keen interest in plant environment interactions, abiotic stress signaling and acclimation, nutrient biology, and root biology. He believes that a fundamental understanding of basic molecular processes is instrumental for translational research in applied plant biology.
Dr. Bassill’s recent work has focused on ion transport and utilized methods in functional genomics, quantitative cell biology, and biochemistry. In the Bassil Lab, an integrative plant biological approach is combined with functional genomics, quantitative cell biology, and physiology, to investigate cellular growth processes, plant environment interactions, abiotic stress signaling and acclimation, cellular nutrient homeostasis, and the role of roots in stress acclimation.
Current questions in the Bassil lab are:
- How is intracellular ion homeostasis (such as pH, K+ and Na+) maintained?
- What are the transporters that control ion homeostasis in different cellular compartments?
- How does intracellular homeostasis regulate key processes that drive cell expansion, growth, affect quality, and allow plants to acclimate to changes in their environment i.e. stress? For example plant cells enlarge in part by expansion of vacuoles (with an increase in cell turgor), and by coordinating the delivery of cellular building components from compartments of synthesis to where they are utilized (i.e endomembrane trafficking).
Ongoing work in the lab suggests that both vacuolar expansion and endomembrane trafficking appear to require the tight regulation of ion homeostasis in specific cellular compartments of the cell.