Dr. Stella Milferstädt

Dr. Stella Milferstädt

Research Area B

Cluster of Excellence livMatS @ FIT – Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies


Production of FtsZ proteins for the generation of ex-vivo hydrogels

Project description
I worked in Research Area B “Adaptivity” focusing on a certain type of enzymes called "Filamentous temperature-sensitive Z proteins" (FtsZ proteins). In plants, FtsZ proteins build a filamentous network within the chloroplast. The formation of these filaments consumes energy, which is provided by a chemical reaction (GTP hydrolyzation). In my project, the FtsZ skeleton of Physcomitrella patens served as a plant role model in how energy uptake can be linked to structure formation.

Project outcomes
In my dissertation, I investigated self-assembling Filamentous temperature-sensitive Z (FtsZ) proteins as a key component of the division machinery. In the model organism Physcomitrella, there are five FtsZ proteins which assemble to a network within the chloroplast. The morphology of the Physcomitrella FtsZ polymer networks varies between the different isoforms. However, the underlying mechanism of the distinct networks is still unknown. To investigate this, I heterologously produced two out of the five Physcomitrella FtsZ isoforms, FtsZ1-2 and FtsZ2-1, in E. coli. Taken together, my results indicate that Physcomitrella FtsZ1-2 and FtsZ2-1 exhibit functional differences in vitro. Additionally, my work indicates that the FtsZ function in cell division and plastid division is evolutionary conserved.

Supervisor and dissertation
Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski

Stella Milferstädt completed her dissertation in March 2024.

Publications in livMatS