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“Hold the message: Integration of nuclear and cytosolic gene regulation during stress”

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Wednesday 23 November 2016, 14:00 - 15:30


Too much water – flooding – due to climatic events is a significant cause of global food insecurity. All major crops, with the exception of rice, die within a few days of flooding. Yet there are plant species that can thrive with waterlogged roots and in some cases fully submerged shoots. Beneficial genes that allow some varieties of rice to germinate underwater or to tolerate too much water are present in rice landraces that have been cultivated in flood-prone fields for ages. The characterization of genes such as SUB1A has exemplified cellular and developmental plasticity that can be harnessed for productivity under sub-optimal environments. To explore the plasticity of response to environmental cues in organs and specific cell-types that underlie developmental adaptations relevant to water extremes, such as the radial oxygen barrier and lateral/secondary root initiation, we retooled INTACT (Isolation of Nuclei TAgged in specific Cell Types) and TRAP (Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification) for rice. These technologies enable the monitoring of dynamics in chromatin, nuclear pre-mRNAs and ribosome-bound mRNAs. Our first experiment monitored the response of the root apex of young seedlings to short term submergence (hypoxic stress). These new data from crop roots, along with earlier studies of Arabidopsis, emphasize aspects of gene regulation that deserve additional attention, including mRNA turnover and stabilization. I will talk about this new work, as well as early application of these technologies to cell types/regions (i.e., cortex, endodermis and exodermis, apex) of waterlogged, well-watered and water-deprived roots.


Dr. Julia Bailey-Serres is a professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and the Director of the Center for Plant Cell Biology at the University of California, Riverside. Her recognitions include the USDA National Research Initiative Discovery Award for Outstanding Agricultural Research to Enhance Submergence Tolerance in Rice, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists and member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Her group studies plant responses to flooding and the accompanying hypoxia stress from the molecular to the whole plant level. She has received international attention for her group’s dissection of the mechanistic role of the SUB1A gene in conferring tolerance to submergence in rice. She is also recognized for pioneering technologies that uncover gene activity in specific cell types of multicellular organisms.   

Location Jozef Schell seminar room
Contact Prof Julia Bailey-Serres
Center for Plant Cell Biology
University of California, Riverside