Lab News

August 2020

Dr. Geitmann receives the CSPB/SCBV Mary E. Spencer Award

Dr. Geitmann receives the Mary E. Spencer Award by the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists in recognition of outstanding research in the field of plant biology in Canada and active public service engagement in the plant biology community.

June 2020

Protocols for pollen tube research

Dr. Geitmann's book compiling methods and protocols for pollen tube research is published. A total of 55 authors contributed to 22 chapters covering a wide spectrum of techniques for the investigation of the male gametophyte in the flowering plants.

June 2020

Dr. Geitmann receives the MSC Frances W. Doane Award

Dr. Geitmann receives the Frances W. Doane Award dedicated 'for valuable service and contributions that an individual made to the Microscopical Society of Canada'.

June 2020

Amir Bidhendi's presentation is recognized

​Amir Bidhendi receives the Public choice award in the biological sciences for his flash talk at the annual (online) meeting of the Microscopical Society of Canada. 

June 2020

Karuna Kapoor wins presentation award

Karuna Kapoor wins the Award for presentation with the best microscopic images in the biological sciences at the annual (online) meeting of the Microscopical Society of Canada. 

May 2020

Tensile tissue testing

Testing plant tissue by applying tensile forces reveals their biomechanical properties. In this paper, Amir Bidhendi describes the engineering details of his custom made tensile tester. 

May 2020

How to label cellulose and pectin in plant tissues

Investigating the cellular underpinnings of plant developmental biology requires robust labeling methods for the structural polysaccharides of the cell wall. You can find our optimized protocols here. The author version can be downloaded here.

April 2020


Pollen tubes have the ability to detect and respond to differences in the mechanical properties in their growth matrix. In some species, the tubes prefer stiffened medium, consistent with their typical in situ growth environment. Ronny Reimann, co-first author, started this project while visiting the Geitmann lab.

March 2020


The Geitmann Lab moves to the home office and lab meetings are held online due to the closure of university campuses.

March 2020

'Alles ist Blatt'

'Alles is Blatt' (All is leaf) said the German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. For a surprising range of plant organs that is actually true, but it takes some imagination (and shape deformation) to figure out how un-leaf-like structures are created - deadly carnivorous traps for example. All about this in this Cell Preview.

January 2020

Plant biomechanics special issue in Botany

​The journal Botany. publishes a special issue on Plant Biomechanics edited by Dr. Geitmann. This issue is a collection of 8 articles introduced by an editorial. The cover of the issue features an image based on a finite element model by Amir J. Bidhendi.

September 2019

Gloria Lau starts Honors project

Gloria Lau, Honors student with Paul Wiseman, Departments of Chemistry and Physics, starts a research project under co-supervision of Dr. Geitmann.

September 2019

Cover feature in Plant Physiology

Another of Amir's amazing images makes it on the cover of a journal. For more covers see here.

September 2019

Diksha Bhola joins the lab

Diksha Bhola joins the lab as PhD student. Welcome Diksha!

September 2019

Pectin chemistry and cellulose crystallinity matter for pavement cell morphogenesis

This article by Bara Altartouri illustrates the roles of the different cell wall components in tissue morphogenesis

August 2019

A new Dr in the house!

Bara successfully defends his PhD thesis. Congratulations, Dr. Altartouri!

August 2019

Bara Altartouri featured by Plantae

Bara Altartouri is featured by Plantae in their series of first author profiles.

July 2019

Plant cell morphogenesis viewed through the biomechanical lens

In this paper, Amir J. Bidhendi's used finite element modelling to simulate the morphogenesis of pavement cells. These beautiful, jigsaw puzzle like cells form the leaf epidermis and their differentiation involves microtubules, cellulose microfibrils and pectin. Amir's image is featured on the journal cover.

July 2019

Special issue on Plant Biomechanics

Dr. Geitmann serves as guest editor for a special issue on plant biomechanics in the Journal of Experimental Botany. 16 articles exemplifying the state-of-the-art of the field are introduced by an editorial. The cover of the issue features an image by Amir J. Bidhendi.

July 2019

Primary plant cell wall mechanics - tested

Amir J. Bidhendi's review on the caveats and challenges of different methods to measure primary plant cell mechanics comes our in Journal of Experimental Botany. Of note: The article contains a detailed glossary of biomechanics terms, and a table with all the published mechanical values we were able to find.

July 2019

Karuna Kapoor represents the Geitmann Lab at Plant Canada

While Dr. Geitmann misses the first CSPB meeting in more than a decade to lecture at the CISM Biomechanics Workshop in Udine and give a presentation at the XV Cell Wall Meeting in Cambridge, Karuna Kapoor represents the Geitmann Lab at the Plant Canada Meeting in Guelph presenting her work on callose in pollen tubes.

July 2019

Modeling morphogenesis

Modeling biological processes is challenging and requires careful consideration of input parameters and assumptions. In Bidhendi and Geitmann (2019) Developmental Cell we show that modeling the morphogenesis of leaf epidermal cells needs to be done by considering the complete 3D geometry of the cell to account for relevant forces driving cell growth.

June 2019

Amir J. Bidhendi's official graduation

Amir J Bidhendi receives his official PhD diploma at the graduation ceremony at Université de Montréal

June 2019

Christine Cameron receives her degree

Christine Cameron, Master's student in the Geitmann Lab, receives her degree at the Macdonald Campus graduation ceremony. Congratulations!

May 2019

Poster session & conference primer

Conference season is in full swing and you are a first time attendant? Or you are looking for inspiration to design your scientific poster? Check out Dr. Geitmann's primer for grad students.

February 2019

Membrane trafficking in pollen tubes

Membrane trafficking in plant cells is complex and in pollen tubes it is choreographed in sophisticated manner. We investigated some of the players involved in endocytosis in Kaneda et al. (2019) Plant Cell Physiology

February 2019

Hana Rakusová's farewell

The team celebrates the completion of Dr. Hana Rakusová's postdoctoral fellowship.

November 2018

Hongbo Li's farewell

Hongbo Li returns home to China, not without a bottle of Canadian maple syrup in his luggage. Have a safe trip home, Hongbo!

October 2018

Dr. Geitmann appointed to chair the ASPB International Committee

Dr. Geitmann is appointed as the Chair of the International Committee of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

October 2018

Geitmann Lab Party

Current and former members of the Geitmann Lab meet again.

September 2018

Gökcan Sahin joins the lab

Gökcan Sahin is new MSc student in the lab. Welcome!

August 2018

Amir J. Bidhendi is new Dr.!

Amir J. Bidhendi successfully defends his PhD thesis before the jury including Professors Tamara Western (McGill), David Morse (Université de Montréal), Phil Lintilhac (University of Vermont) and Frédérick Gosselin (École Polytechnique de Montreal, not pictured). Congratulations Dr. Bidhendi!

August 2018

PlantBioMech 2018

The Geitmann Lab organizes the 9th International Plant Biomechanics Conference in Montreal on August 9-14, 2018

June 2018

Plant Biomechanics. The Book.

This new book on Plant Biomechanics is the first in many years to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art of the discipline. The 18 chapters cover wood and tree mechanics, developmental biology, cell wall ultrastructural features related to mechanical behavior, and the hydraulics underlying fluid transport in plants.

June 2018

Pollen tubes exert forces

We measured the force exerted by growing pollen tubes and determined how they respond when they touch a physical obstacle. Find the preprint here.

June 2018

Dr. Geitmann new President of IASPRR

Dr. Geitmann is elected President of the International Association of Sexual Plant Reproduction Research (IASPRR) at the 25th meeting of the Association in Gifu, Japan.

May 2018

Abscission and the middle lamella

Abscission requires the dissolution of the middle layer in a precisely defined separation plane. This article summarizes how herbaceous plant tissues ensure the vulnerable separation site is protected.

April 2018

Sugaring off

April is the time for sugar shack - the ideal opportunity to get the fingers sticky and the metabolism hyperglycemic. Fortunately, there was enough snow around for the dessert after the dessert, 'la tire'!

March 2018

Pollen tubes are the coolest

Pollen tube are the coolest - they grow as if in a race (they are!), do so through mazes (does the pistil play hard to get?), follow guidance cues (plant males ask for directions!) and they can keep a rhythm (mating is a dance after all). The pollen tube's cool features are summarized in our recent review article. (And yes, this picture from Wikipedia is actually ours.)

January 2018

Research funding for Phenotyping Platform

The Geitmann Lab and colleagues from the Department of Plant Science at McGill University and Sherbrooke University receive funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation for a large plant phenotyping platform. Link.

November 2017

Early holiday lunch

No snow yet, but the Geitmann lab members celebrate the coming holiday season at Tadja Hall

November 2017

Souad Mroue joins the lab

Suoad Mroue joins the lab as visiting PhD students. Great to have you at Mac, Souad!

November 2017

Hongbo Li joins the lab

Hongbo Li, an engineering expert in plant biomechanics, joins the lab as visiting scholar. Welcome to Montreal, Hongbo!

September 2017

Karuna Kapoor joins the lab

Karuna Kapoor joins the lab as PhD student. Welcome Karuna!

June 2017

Dr. Geitmann is named ASPB Fellow

At the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists 'Plant Biology 2017' Dr. Geitmann is named ASPB Fellow.

June 2017

Lab Retreat at Tadja Hall

The Geitmann Lab holds a retreat together with the group of Reza Sharif-Naeini and guests Anna Moroni and Gerhard Thiel

May 2017

Plant Physiology paper on plant cell division comes out

A beautiful paper by Chloë van Oostende, former postdoctoral fellow in the Geitmann Lab, in collaboration with Paul W. Wiseman (Department of Chemistry) is published in Plant Physiology.

March 2017

Mahmood Ghanbari joins the lab

Mahmoud Ghanbari joins the Geitmann Lab as visiting scholar. Welcome, Mahmoud!

March 2017

Philip Ruijten joins the lab

Philip Ruijten, PhD student at Eindhoven University (The Netherlands), joins the lab for an internship to study fungal growth in solid media

February 2017

Lab Move

The Geitmann Lab moves to the Raymond Building on the Macdonald Campus, home to the Department of Plant Science.

December 2016

CRC Chair

Dr. Geitmann is awarded a Canada Research Chair in Biomechanics of Plant Development

September 2016

Christine Cameron joins the lab

Christine Cameron joins the Geitmann Lab as Master's student. Welcome Christine!

September 2015

Dr. Geitmann new Dean at Mac

Dr. Geitmann is nominated Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Associate Vice-Principal (Macdonald Campus) of McGill University

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Older news items can be found on the legacy Geitmann Lab Web Site

Anja Geitmann - Canada Research Chair in Biomechanics of Plant Development

Department of Plant Science, McGill University

The images shown in the header strip are micrographs produced by Colas Topszynski, Youssef Chebli & Amir Jafari Bidhendi. All imagess are copyright protected and their use requires permission by Anja Geitmann