Heinrich Heine University Researchers Further Knowledge of Plant Behavior at the Chemical Level

Principal Investigator:
Prof. Dr. Holger Gohlke

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf

Local Project ID:

HPC Platform used:
JUWELS Booster at JSC

Date published:

A research team led by Prof. Dr. Holger Gohlke and Dr. Carlos Navarro-Retamal have been using the JUWELS supercomputer at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) to better understand how plants respond to changes in their environment at a molecular level. Specifically, the team used JUWELs to simulate how the TPC protein—also prevalent in the human body—helps facilitate information sharing between different parts of a plant in responding to changes in temperature, light, or other conditions that can affect growth. In order to gain a fundamental understanding of the process, the researchers ran computationally intensive molecular dynamics simulations of up to 600,000 atoms.

In its work, the team found that the TPC protein “gate” allowed in more potassium ions than sodium or calcium ions, giving the researchers a fundamental understanding of this process. Further, with a deeper understanding of how TPC behaves in this context, researchers can further investigate the protein’s influence on other plant signaling processes as well as how it influences homeostasis in the human body. The team published its work in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

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