PSC Frontier Seminar series
Title: Aquaporins and plant hydraulics as targets and players of environmental and hormonal signaling
Speaker: Dr. Christophe Maurel, Biochemistry and Plant Molecular Physiology, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, Univ. Montpellier, France.
Time: 9:30 am
Day/Date: August 26th, 2019 (Monday)
Host: Prof. Yang Zhao
Venue: PSC Auditorium
Plant water transport is a key component of plant performance and adaptation to adverse environments. Aquaporins of the Plasma membrane Intrinsic Protein (PIP) subfamily mediate multiple controls of plant tissue hydraulics. New insights into the mechanisms at work in their regulation in roots, leaf veins and stomata will be presented. In particular, the PIP2;1 aquaporin contributes to stomatal closure in response to abscisic acid (ABA) or the bacterial elicitor flg22. Due to activation of its water and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) transport activities, PIP2;1 plays a dual hydraulic and signaling role in guard cells. Recently, the genetic bases of root hydraulics were explored using quantitative genetics approaches in Arabidopsis thaliana. These studies uncovered novel pathways for plant adaptation to stresses. For instance, a RAF-like MAP3 kinase named Hydraulic Conductivity of Root 1 (HCR1) was found to delineate a combinatorial signaling pathway integrating two soil signals, K+ and O2 availability. XYLEM NAC DOMAIN 1 (XND1), a transcription factor that acts as a negative regulator of xylem differentiation and as a consequence of root hydraulics was found to enhances drought stress tolerance while counteracting plant infection by the root pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. In all these studies, natural allelic variants provide useful genetic resources to understand and possibly manipulate the modes of plant adaptation to combined or opposing environmental stresses.
The seminar will be delivered in English.