Prof. Michael Hothorn from the University of Geneva presents "Plant signal transduction cascades – from atoms to phenotypes and back"
Abstract: Plants are nature’s first successful experiment with multicellular life and many signal transduction cascades are wired very differently in plants and animals. My lab uses a highly integrated approach ranging from protein X-ray crystallography and quantitative biochemistry to cell biology and forward & reverse genetics to dissect plant unique signaling pathways in mechanistic detail. I will present our work on plant unique membrane receptor kinases that interact with steroid and peptide hormones to coordinate different aspects of development. Next, I will describe a novel nutrient sensing pathway, in which a highly phosphorylated nutrient messenger engages with different receptor proteins allowing plants to maintain sufficient concentrations of phosphate in their cells, and to take up more phosphate from the soil when needed. Finally, I will highlight the integrative power of structural biology and genome editing for crop science in the future.