International Plant Molecular Biology Congress

Halliday, K. (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Title: Turning Up The Heat A. Henrik Johansson, Joe R. Hemsted, Harriet Jones, Ramon Grima and Karen J. Halliday Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology (SynthSys), School of Biological Sciences, Edinburgh University, Mayfield Road, EH9 3JD. Through the plant lifecycle its growth strategy is optimised to local and seasonal variations in the weather. This ability to adapt to environmental change is a principal determinant of reproductive success. Central molecular regulators of growth plasticity are the phytochrome (phy) photoreceptors that can dramatically alter the plant growth plan in response to encroaching vegetation. Recent work has shown that the light pathways are also a conduit for temperature signals, suggesting that these environmental cues utilise a common pathway to manipulate plant architecture (e.g. Foreman et al. Plant J. 2011 65(3):441-52; Franklin et al. PNAS. 2011 108(50):20231-5). As the early phy-activated signalling events are very well characterised, this pathway provides an excellent molecular framework to determine the basis of adaptive responses to changing external temperatures. To gain leverage, we have exploited a novel finding that temperature can profoundly affect the light-controlled growth response mode: switching from inhibition under cooler conditions, to growth promotion in the warm. Our findings indicate that phyB activity is thermally-regulated, and this behaviour underlies the temperature growth switch. The molecular basis of this response and the consequences for plant viability will be presented.
Period21 Oct 201226 Oct 2012
Event typeConference
LocationJeju, Korea, Republic of