How I got interested in this field:I was always fascinated by how different organisms survive in changeable and harsh environments and how endogenous factors and environmental cues influence their ability to survive. One of my research interests was the elucidation of the physiological, biochemical and biophysical mechanism of stress tolerance. During my career, I have had the opportunity of gaining knowledge in many aspects of plant stress physiology.
My current research interest involves the investigation of the biochemical, physiological, molecular and evolutionary aspects of an organelle found in Agrobacterium tumefasciens containing pyrophosphate (PPi), polyphosphate (polyP), calcium, magnesium, and potassium. This organelle is enclosed by a unit membrane, and possess a calcium-accumulating activity, and a proton translocating pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase) that acidifies their content. These characteristics are similar to those described for the acidocalcisomes of early eukaryotes, such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, malaria parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, and trypanosomatids. In addition, I am interested in the evolution process of prokaryotic and early branching eukaryotic organisms, and whether this organelle originated previously to the basal branching of the universal tree of life. The discovery of acidocalcisome in bacteria provide a strong evidence that this it is a unique organelle in nature and support the idea that evolution of more complex cell organization evolved in bacteria before the prokaryotic and eukaryotic lineage diverged.