Christophe Maurel : 2018 winner of the Georges Morel Award:
The 2018 Georges Morel Prize was awarded to Christophe Maurel, Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and group leader in the Biochemistry and Plant Molecular Physiology department in Montpellier.
Christophe Maurel, deputy director and head of a team working on plant water transport, discovered the first plant aquaporin during his post-doctorate in San Diego (USA).
Since then, he has largely contributed to knowledge of these molecules that facilitate the transport of water and/or small neutral solutes or gases across membranes. He showed that their regulation is dependent on various factors: cytosolic pH, auxin, phosphorylation. Aquaporins are involved in many processes during plant development and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Thanks to a multidisciplinary approach (structural studies, MRI imaging and modeling), Christophe Maurel and his team now explore the significance of the hydraulic architecture of root systems.