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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Crop Systems Seminar: Encoding and decoding calcium oscillations in symbiosis signalling Event

Institute for Life Sciences
ImageCredit Ellenm Creative Commons
13:00 - 14:00
8 July 2016
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 2, Room 3041

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Keith Daly at .

Event details

Abstract: The ability to take up mineral nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, is generally the major limitation to plant growth. A number of plant species have evolved beneficial interactions with micro-organisms that facilitate the uptake of these nutrients. Legumes form symbiotic interactions with mycorrhizal fungi that facilitate phosphate uptake and with rhizobial bacteria that provide the plant with a source of nitrogen. The establishment of these symbioses involves a molecular communication between the plant and the symbiotic micro-organisms in the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobial bacteria release signals that are recognised by the host plant and lead to developmental changes associated with the accommodation of the symbionts. Genetic dissection in legumes has defined the signalling pathways involved in these symbioses and this signalling process involves oscillations in calcium within the nuclear region. The symbiosis signalling pathway has become a model for understanding calcium signalling in plants. A number of channels present on the nuclear membranes are known to be essential for the establishment of symbiotic calcium oscillations and a calcium-regulated kinase present in the nucleus is sufficient to decode the calcium oscillations. In this seminar I will present our latest understanding of the molecular components responsible for encoding and decoding symbiotic calcium oscillations.


Image Credit: EllenM, under Creative Commons licence 2.0

Many plant species acquire a significant amount of their nutritional needs through symbiotic interactions with micro-organisms. The work in this laboratory focuses on two symbiotic interactions of legumes: the mycorrhizal association that aids in the uptake of nutrients from the soil and is particularly important for plant acquisition of phosphates and the rhizobial symbiosis that provides a source of nitrogen to the plant. In both cases the establishment of these interactions involves a molecular communication between the plant and the micro-organisms, with diffusible signals being released by both the mycorrhizal fungi and the rhizobial bacteria. Our work is focused on understanding how legumes perceive these diffusible signals and transduce this information for the activation of developmental processes associated with accommodating these symbionts.

Speaker information

Professor Giles Oldroyd,The John Innes Centre,Current research projects: Medicago truncatula as a model legume; Genetic dissection of the Sym pathway; Calcium as a secondary messenger in the Sym pathway; Making a nodule; and The regulation of nodulation by hormones.

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