Date: 15th February 2023
Title: Don’t stop me now: the end of reproduction in annual plants
Location: Lecture room B6, Forest Sciences Building, Latokartanonkaari 7-9 and remotely via Zoom
Host: Paula Elomaa
Abstract: For plants with a single reproductive cycle, which are a great proportion of crops, it is extremely important to get the time for reproduction right. This involves not only initiating flowering at optimal conditions to facilitate pollination and fruit set, but also the controlled end of flowering, a general phenomenon that involves a proliferative arrest described for many different annual species, which allows to maximize successful seed production before plant death. A wealth of knowledge has been acquired for decades on how flowering initiation is regulated by environmental and endogenous factors, as well as on the changes that this transition impose in the shoot meristems. However, the mechanisms controlling the end of flowering had been virtually unknown so far, despite the huge ecological and even economic importance of the regulation of fruit and seed production. In the last few years, our lab has been working in this topic by studying molecular, physiological and genetic mechanisms linked to flowering termination. In this seminar, I’ll talk about our contributions and current work in this field to unravel the regulatory pathways and cellular events that coordinate the end of flowering and trigger proliferative arrest, in the context of what it is known and unknown.
Cristina leads the lab of Evolution and Development of Flowers, Fruits and Reproductive Meristems. The group has been working for many years on different aspects of Plant Developmental Genetics in Arabidopsis and other crop species. Major lines of research are the study of genetic networks that control the patterning of the gynoecium and how these have evolved throughout angiosperms to generate functional and morphological diversity and, more recently, the control of the length of the reproductive phase in annual plants, which will be the subject of the talk.