Hilary Hunt -- Metabolism and energy bottlenecks in plant vasculature [ONLINE]
|Dates:||29 March 2023|
|Times:||13:00 - 14:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Department of Mathematics|
|Who is it for:||University staff, External researchers, Current University students|
Join us for this seminar by Hilary Hunt (Oxford) as part of the North West Seminar Series in Mathematical Biology and Data Sciences. Details of the full series can be found here https://www.cms.livjm.ac.uk/APMSeminar/
The talk will be hosted by Liverpool John Moores University and streamed via Teams please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for the link, or sign up to the mailing list.
Abstract: Phloem is the vascular tissue in plants – responsible for transporting sugars from source to sink. It is well established that osmotic currents drive the flow of sap through phloem vessels. The energy cost of phloem transport is primarily in the maintenance of the concentration gradient driving these osmotic currents. The bioenergetic force behind the loading of sugars and amino acids into phloem is generated by proton gradients at the plasma membrane of specialised phloem-loading cells. This gradient is maintained by actively pumping protons from the cytosol to the apoplast. This allows cells to use proton-coupled plasma membrane symporters to import sugars up their concentration gradients but down the proton gradient and into the phloem. From there the osmotic currents carry them to where they are needed within the plant.
Despite its essential role in vascular plant growth, the specifics of phloem cell metabolism remain unclear. Maintaining these concentration gradients is likely to be an energy bottleneck in plant growth but there is still uncertainty in the source and transfer of energy in companion cells. Combining cell-specific transcriptome data with a computational model of metabolism within phloem cells, I’ll talk you through my exploration of the metabolic interactions between cells to identify the main contributors to this energy bottleneck and the best targets to resolve it and increase plant growth.
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Role: Postdoctoral Researcher
Organisation: University of Oxford
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