Abiotic Stress/Whole Plant Bio


CS-19-1 - Unravelling the dynamic landscape of transcription regulation in C4 photosynthesis

Monday, July 16
3:18 PM - 3:38 PM

C4 photosynthesis has evolved repeatedly from the ancestral C3 state and is prevalent in tropical regions. Compared with the ancestral C3 pathway it can increase photosynthetic efficiency by up to 50%. This increased photosynthetic capacity allows higher rates of growth and increased water and nitrogen use efficiencies. However, more than 50 years after discovery of the C4 pathway our understanding of the mechanisms regulating C4 photosynthesis gene expression is based on analysis of individual C4 genes. Moreover, no transcription factors regulating genes of the C4 cycle have been identified. In the present study, we analyzed dynamics associated with the transcriptional regulatory landscape during photomorphogenesis of Gynandropsis gynandra, the closest known C4 species to the C3 model Arabidopsis thaliana. RNA-seq was used to provide an unbiased overview of changes in photosynthesis gene expression subsequent to the dark-to-light transition. DNaseI-seq was then used to define transcription factor binding sites in vivo over the same time-course. The data will be discussed from two perspectives. First, mechanisms that underpin the dynamic induction of C4 photosynthesis gene expression. Second, through comparison with similar data from C3 A. thaliana, of potential modifications to transcription factor binding associated with the transition from C3 to C4 photosynthesis.



Sean Stevenson – University of Cambridge; Julian Hibberd – University of Cambridge

Pallavi Singh, PhD

University of Cambridge

I did a PhD in 2015 at National Institute of Plant Genome Research, India, where I worked on investigating the role of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) signaling networks in imparting flooding tolerance to rice. Then as a post- doctoral associate at Cornell University, USA, my research interests focused on the interaction of rice with its bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas and the role of transcription activator-like (TAL) effector proteins facilitating this interplay.
In 2017, I moved to Cambridge to take up a post-doctoral position with Professor Julian Hibberd in the Department of Plant Sciences. The aim of my work is to better understand the evolution of the most efficient version of photosynthesis, known as the C4 pathway, such that in the long term this metabolism can be integrated into rice. My long-term research aim is to carry out the highest quality of fundamental research that leads to real impact to farmers.


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CS-19-1 - Unravelling the dynamic landscape of transcription regulation in C4 photosynthesis

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