ViPS Invited Seminar May 2018
Philip Wigge, Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK

Date: 16th May 2018

Time: 13:15

Title: Temperature sensing in plants

Location: Biocentre 2, seminar room 1015, Viikinkaari 5

Host: Timo Hytönen

Abstract: Plants are highly responsive to small changes in ambient temperature, and can detect differences as small as 1 ºC. The mechanism(s) by which temperature is perceived are poorly understood in eukaryotes generally, and not known in plants. We have used forward genetics and natural variation screens to identify genes necessary for responding correctly to temperature. These screens have revealed roles for chromatin and transcriptional regulation in mediating the temperature transcriptome response.  Results from these screens will be presented in the context of what is known about temperature perception mechanisms in eukaryotes more broadly.

Phil received a Master in Biochemistry from Oxford University (1996) where he worked in David Sherratt’s lab on mechanisms of site-specific recombination. Phil studied for his PhD in John Kilmartin’s lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where he learnt biochemistry in budding yeast, and received his PhD from Cambridge in 2000. Notable developments included the biochemical analysis of the yeast spindle and pole body proteome and the identification of the NDC80 complex. Phil started working on plants in 2000 in Detlef Weigel’s lab at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA. At the Salk, and later at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, when Detlef became an MPI director. Phil studied FT, and mechanisms by which it activates flowering. Phil started his own group working on mechanisms of temperature perception at the John Innes Centre in 2005, where he was awarded tenure in 2010. Phil will join the Sainsbury Laboratory as a group leader in January 2012.

Phil’s group is interested in how temperature is perceived by plants, and how these signals are integrated into development. To address these questions, the lab is applying a multi-disciplinary approach, exploiting plant genetics, biochemical analyses and modelling approaches.

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