Welcome to the Drakakaki Lab

Our research focus on endomembrane trafficking in plant cells.

We are particularly interested in trafficking pathways involved in polysaccharide deposition and plant stress response.

In plant cytokinesis, a process fundamentally different from cytokinesis in animals, de novo formation of a cell plate that is maturing into a new cell wall partitions the cytoplasm of the dividing cell. In a chemical biology approach, we identified and characterized the small molecule Endosidin 7, which specifically affects cell plate maturation. Using ES7 as a tool, we dissect various mechanisms that control plant cytokinesis with a broad range of multidisciplinary approaches. Recently, we developed 4D in vivo imaging methodologies towards determining the spatio-temporal distribution of vesicles contributing to cell plate formation. Ultimately, our goal is to develop a comprehensive spatio-temporal model of cell plate formation during plant cytokinesis.

Using a combination of vesicle proteomic/glycomic analyses we characterized both protein and polysaccharide cargo transported through the trans-Golgi network. Many new components/players in the vesicle proteome and glycome of SYP61 vesicles were identified and we are currently investigating their biological role in plant development and plant stress response.

Further, we have developed a series of imaging tools and methodologies for the detection of sodium, potassium and chloride at the subcellular level in woody plants. Our efforts are assisting in the characterization of complex mechanisms that control salinity stress towards the identification of elite genotypes in woody plants.

If you are interested in our research and like to join us in our exciting journey into the heart of plant growth and development please contact me at gdrakakaki@ucdavis.edu, 530-752-1664, or visit our lab.