Date: 10th October 2018
Title: Plants, Oxygen and Water Extremes
Location: Biocentre 2, seminar room 2012, Viikinkaari 5
Host: Kurt Fagerstedt
Abstract: Periods of too much or too little water – floods or droughts – are a significant cause of crop loss and food insecurity. All major crops are susceptible to drought, and with the exception of rice are vulnerable to flooding. Rice grown in rain-fed paddies is responsible for 30% of all rice grain produced. However, rain-fed rice often has too much or two little water due to weather extremes, leading to yield instability. Through international efforts, beneficial genes of traditional landraces have been identified that enable rice to be seeded directly underwater to limit weed competition or to tolerate full submergence during vegetative development. One of these genes, SUBMERGENCE1A (SUB1A), provides metabolic and developmental plasticity that increases yield stability. The SUB1A transcription factor provides a growth quiescence survival strategy during submergence and oxygen deficiency, limiting growth of the shoot when submerged and enhancing regrowth after desubmergence. Rice that is transiently submerged or water deprived can recover as long as axillary (tiller) meristems remain viable; SUB1A significantly increases tiller regrowth after water extremes. I will describe our use of two powerful methods for deep insight into gene regulatory processes: INTACT (Isolation of Nuclei TAgged in specific Cell Types) and TRAP (Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification). We have used these to monitor chromatin dynamics, transcription and mRNA translation in specific cell-types and zones of rice to identify plasticity in metabolism and development that underlie mechanisms of survival of water extremes.
Julia Bailey-Serres is a native of California and Distinguished Professor of Genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and Director of the Center for Plant Cell Biology at the Unverisity of California, Riverside. She is also Professor of Rice Physiology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Dr. Bailey-Serres is recognized for the in-depth dissection of the function of SUBMERGENCE 1A gene, responsible for survival of rice plants under prolonged submergence as evidenced by its successful use in breeding programs that has led to stabilizing rice grain yield in flood-prone regions of Asia. Her research has characterized direct and indirect sensing, signaling and response mechanisms that are essential for survival of transient cellular hypoxia and flooding stress. She has established technologies to uncover the activity genes in specific cell types of multicellular organisms, through the capture of ribosomes and the associated mRNAs. Her honors include member of the US National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Association for the Advancment of Sciences, fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), receipeint of the USDA National Research Initiatives Dicovery Award and the ASPB Hales Prize. She is an editor for several journals and an innovator of undergraduate and graduate education. Her research is funded by the US National Science Foundation and the USDA National Food and Agriculture Institute.