Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Scott Poethig - Patricia Williams Professor, Department of Biology - University of Pennsylvania
Topic: miRNAs and the regulation of shoot maturation in plants
When: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116

A plant shoot changes with time. Microarray analysis of Arabidopsis leaves of different ages and  different positions in the rosette revealed six major temporal programs.  Three of these programs are features of leaf development (leaf maturation, leaf aging, leaf senescence), and three involve changes in the character of the entire shoot (vegetative phase change, flower induction, aging).  We are particularly interested in the mechanism of vegetative phase change—the transition from a juvenile to an adult phase of shoot development.  This process is regulated by a decrease in the expression of two related microRNAs miR156 and miR157, which act to promote the expression of the juvenile phase.  Ablation studies reveal that this decline is mediated by a factor(s) produced by existing leaf primordia, which acts on newly formed primordia to repress the expression of miR156.  Evidence that this phase change signal is a sugar will be presented.

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