ViPS Invited Seminar December 2019

Rosangela Sozzani, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA

Date: 11th December 2019

Time: 13:15

Title: The Goldilocks principle, just the right amount of growth

Location: Seminar room 172, Viikki Korona Info Centre, Viikinkaari 11

Host: Ari-Pekka Mähönen

Abstract: Stem cells are essential for the growth and development of plants, which provide essential nutrition, fuel, and clothing for human life. Yet, there is limited understanding of the regulatory mechanisms that control plant stem cell development. The integration of mathematical modeling approaches with acquisition of genome scale data at cell- type is necessary to improve crop yields, biomass production, and energy conversion efficiency. Here show how we have integrated cell-type transcriptomics with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and mathematical modeling to provide quantitative insights into gene regulatory network dynamics. Specifically, we identify a stem-cell-ubiquitous gene, TESMIN-LIKE CXC2 (TCX2), which controls stem cell division by regulating stem cell-type specific networks. Our results highlight that genes expressed across different stem cell types ensure cross-communication among cells, allowing them to divide and develop harmonically together.

Ross Sozzani joined NC State in 2013 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Synthetic and Systems Biology. Ross’ researches focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cells in the model plant Arabidopsis and uses a plant systems biology approach to predict phenotype from genotype. Adapting plants to address ever-changing human needs is a necessary strategy to create sustainable energy, nutritional and energy solutions. Areas of scientific expertise: Molecular, developmental and cell biology, mathematics, physics, computer science and engineering.

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Related publications:
  1. Clark N, Buckner E, Fisher AP, Nelson EC, Nguyen TT, Abigail R Simmons, de Luis Balaguer MA, Butler-Smith T, Sheldon PJ, Bergmann DC, Williams CM, Sozzani R. Stem-cell-ubiquitous genes spatiotemporally coordinate division through regulation of stem-cell-specific gene networks. Nature Comm., in press (doi:
  2.  Spurney RJ, Van den Broeck LM, Clark NM, Fisher AP, De Luis Balaguer MA Sozzani R. TuxNet: A simple interface to process RNA sequencing data and infer gene regulatory networks. Plant Journal, in press (BioRxiv, doi:
  3. Haque S, Ahmad J, Clark NM, Williams C, Sozzani R. Computational Prediction of Gene Regulatory Networks in Plant Growth and Development. Curr Opin Plant Biol., 2019; 47:96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.10.005.
  4. Buckner E, Ottley C, Melvin CE, de Luis Balaguer MA, Williams C., Sozzani R. “Tracking Gene Expression via Lightsheet Microscopy and Computer Vision in Living Organisms”. 40th Annual International of the IEEE. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2018; 818-821. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8512416.
  5. Clark NM, Hinde E, Winter CM, Fisher AP, Crosti G, Blilou I, Gratton E, Benfey PN, . Tracking transcription factor mobility and interaction in Arabidopsis roots with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. eLife, 2016; 11:5. doi: 10.7554/eLife.14770.