Date： Oct 24th,2019
Venue：BoXue lecture Hall
Title：How cereals accumulate their seed proteins: a cell biology and evolutionary view
Speaker：Alessandro Vitale (scientist at the Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, National Research Council (CNR), Milano.)
Abstract：The seeds of cereals (cultivated grasses) are the major global source of food proteins. All plants contain genes encoding two classes of seed storage proteins that accumulate in the cell vacuoles: 2S albumins and 7/11S globulins. In grasses, which evolved relatively recently, a new class of storage proteins has appeared: the highly polymeric prolamins. In most cases, this has also involved a switch of the subcellular compartment of accumulation, from vacuoles to the endoplasmic reticulum. Prolamins have mainly originated form 2S albumins by the insertion of new protein domains, but whole genome duplication events have increased prolamin polymorphism, allowing changes in the molecular organization of these protein hetelopolymers in the endoplasmic reticulum. Overall, these evolutionary events have changed the workload of the endoplasmic reticulum, possibly resulting in changes in the activation of the unfolded protein response, which regulates the synthesis of folding helpers in this subcellular compartment. Efforts aimed at improving the nutritional quality of seeds by protein engineering should take into consideration these molecular aspects of protein accumulation.
Title：Unveiling salt-tolerance mechanisms in Italian rice varieties
Speaker：Fiorella Lo Schiavo (Full Professor of Plant Physiology, University of Padua, Faculty of Science,Dept. of Biology, Padova, Italy.)
Salinity tolerance has been extensively investigated in recent years due to its agricultural importance.Soil salinization isthreatening crop productivity worldwide and, in particular, is reducing rice yields, being it the most salt-sensitive cereal.Plant tolerance to salinity is a multifaceted trait involving complex physiological features, metabolic pathways, and gene networks.
A physiological, molecular and cellular characterisation of two Italian rice varieties showing contrasting salt sensitivity will be presented, with a particular focus on the early events induced by salt stress in the two varieties.
Signalling networks that perceive, transmit and integrate information have to translate environmental cues into an appropriate cellular programme.
The aim of our recent work is to decode initial signals induced by salt stress that are leading to an adaptive programme in the tolerant variety and a senescent programme in the sensitive one.
The seminar will be delivered in English.