The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology hosts weekly seminars with guest speakers from all over the world.

Seminars usually take place wednesdays between 2 pm and 3.30 pm in the seminar room (1.052 and 1.053) in the central building, but exceptions prove the rule. All times, dates and topics can be found here.

Ari Pekka Mähönen - Cell Fate Decisions in the Arabidopsis Root Cambium

Despite the importance of the vascular cambium in plant biology and in wood production, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cambial activity remain largely unknown. Particularly, it is unknown where the cambial stem cells are located, and how the stem cell niche is organized to drive cambial growth.In animal stem cell studies lineage tracing has been the method for locating the stem cells. In this method single cell clones marked with reporter expression are generated within a population of dividing cells. The clones are transmitted to all daughter cells of the initial cell, resulting in a marked sector within the tissue. By analysing the size and distribution of the sectors the position and the mitotic activity of dividing cells and stem cells can be deduced. In order to understand the cell lineage relations in the Arabidopsis root cambium, we generated GUS/GFP sectors by using two step CRE-lox based clonal activation system. To understand which cells in the primary tissue contribute to the cambium formation we induced single cell clones during the primary development of the root and analysed the growing sectors during the secondary development. We also generated marked sectors in active cambium to map the position of stem cells and to understand the growth dynamics of the cambial cells. In my seminar presentation I will explain how we are utilizing the lineage tracing data to provide mechanistic understanding of cambium regulation. [more]

Karen B. Barnard-Kubow - Patterns of organelle inheritance and genome evolution: characterizing the evolutionary dynamics of a cytonuclear incompatibility

Negative interactions between the organelle and nuclear genomes (cytonuclear incompatibility) are thought to be among the early genetic incompatibilities to arise during speciation. While there are now several good examples of cytonuclear incompatibility leading to reproductive isolation within and between closely related species, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the evolutionary dynamics of cytonuclear incompatibility. Using the herbaceous species Campanulastrum americanum, I examine how patterns of organelle inheritance and rates of organelle genome evolution may both facilitate and constrain the evolution of cytonuclear incompatibility and its ability to drive the early stages of speciation. [more]

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