Seminar Dr Enrique Lopez-Juez

11:00 - 12:30

Jozef Schell seminar room

''Leaves are solar panels; chloroplast, solar cells. Genetic approaches to understand their biogenesis.''

Photosynthesis sustains the entire biosphere, with plants providing, directly or indirectly, the majority of our food and tempering our climate. This makes understanding the development of chloroplasts, plant cells’ photosynthetic organelles, a particularly important biological question. Our knowledge of chloroplast development drivers is surprisingly limited. In one approach, developing cereal (wheat) leaves are being examined through cellular and whole-genome expression approaches to understand the natural process of “greening”, providing one of the most complete pictures to-date of the “biography of a chloroplast”. In another approach, our lab is using Arabidopsis mutant screens to identify regulators of chloroplast biogenesis. One screen has provided insight into the mechanisms of protein import into developing chloroplasts and into chloroplast-to-nucleus communication, while another has revealed a role for chromatin modifications in the control of organelle biogenesis. Progress in the search for core chloroplast regulators, and on the simultaneous insights this is providing concerning leaf development, will be discussed. Invited by Prof Dirk Inzé