Plant Dormancy Symposium 2013

Dormancy 2013
Plant dormancy, with all its complexities, is gradually being teased apart by recent advances in the molecular, physiological and morphological aspects of its biology.

This symposium, the fifth in a series - following those in Oregon, USA, 1995; France, 1999; The Netherlands, 2004 and Fargo, USA, 2009 - is an excellent opportunity to bring together international experts and emerging scientists with an interest in this exciting field of plant biology.

The overall goal of this symposium is to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas on dormancy in plants and the development of new scientific collaborations. it will encompass the latest findings in the mechanisms of plant dormancy in vegetative buds, seeds and other meristems from a variety of experimental plant systems ranging from agronomic, horticultural and tree crops to model plants.

Programme Themes
•Seed and bud dormancy
•Genetics and genomics
•Interaction with the environment
•Ecology and evolution

+ show speakers and program
Keynote Speakers
Amy Brunner, Fralin Life Science Institute, Virginia Tech University, USA

Amy Brunner is an Associate Professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation and the Molecular Plant Sciences Graduate Program. She obtained her Oregon State University, where she used functional and comparative genomics approaches to study the regulation of flowering in Populus. Her research group focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling and integrating shoot system and wood development in Populus. Recent work has included identification of novel protein-protein interaction modules associated with wood development. In addition, comparative genomics has instigated projects focusing on field and controlled-environment studies of Populus transgenics misexpressing orthologs of the MORE AXILLARY BRANCHING (MAX) genes that are involved in strigolactone synthesis and signaling and members of the TERMINAL FLOWER1 (TFL1)/FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) , FLOWERING LOCUS D (FD) and APETALA1(AP1)/FRUITFULL(FUL) gene families that affect vegetative growth and seasonal developmental transitions in Populus.

Kathleen Donohue, Biology Department, Duke University, USA

Kathleen Donohue acquired her PhD in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. She has been faculty at the University of Kentucky and Harvard University, and is now Full Professor at Duke University. Her research investigates the evolution and consequences of phenotypic plasticity, including parental effects, and the genetic basis of adaptation. Currently, her lab researches the genetic basis and adaptive significance of plant phenology, focusing on germination timing. Her awards include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a John Simon Guggenheim Award, a fellowship at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, a fellowship at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, and a Bullard Fellowship at Harvard University. She was elected to the Executive Board of the American Society of Naturalists and to the Council of the Society for the Study of Evolution. She has served on the editorial boards of Evolution, The American Naturalist, BioScience, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and Evolutionary Ecology.

Wim Soppe, Plant Breeding & Genetics, Max Planck Inst for Plant Breeding Research, Germany

Wim Soppe has been interested in the control of developmental transitions in plants throughout his career. He obtained his PhD at Wageningen University in the Netherlands where he investigated the molecular control of flowering initiation. After this he worked as a postdoc at the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Germany where he studied chromatin organisation, followed by a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne where he was involved in the analysis of a protein regulating flowering initiation. In 2004 he became a group leader at the same institute.

The research group of Wim Soppe is using molecular genetic and biochemical approaches to understand the regulation of seed germination. The main focus of the lab is the molecular control of seed dormancy in Arabidopsis. The group has cloned and characterized several dormancy genes of which two, DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 and REDUCED DORMANCY 5, have been identified as key regulators of seed dormancy. A detailed study of these two genes and the proteins that they encode is at the core of the research in the lab. In addition, the lab has two other active lines of research that concern the control of seed longevity and chromatin remodelling during the seed life cycle.

Hisayo Yamane, Laboratory of Pomology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Japan

Hisayo Yamane obtained her PhD from the Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University in Prunus self-incompatibility study in 2003. She has been serving as a faculty academic staff member at the University since. Her research focus is on “Understanding the genetic control of vegetative and reproductive developments of temperate fruit trees under the influence of the environment” in the framework of her research in pomology, a branch of horticulture that is concerned with the study and cultivation of fruits. Her current interests are on “Molecular aspects of bud dormancy of temperate fruit trees”.

Her research group has used molecular approaches to search for genes controlling bud dormancy of Japanese apricot (Prunus mume). To date, her research group has found the MADS-box genes, called DORMANCY-ASSOCIATED MADS-box (DAM) genes, as good candidates for bud dormancy regulators. Transgenic studies using heterologous plant systems indicated that DAM6 has potential growth inhibitory effects. However, some of the phenotypes recently found in transgenic plants complicate the current simple hypothesis that DAM functions as a growth inhibitor in the regulation of bud dormancy. She will present a recent progress of the studies on the physiological roles of DAMs in bud dormancy.

Steven Smith, Plant Energy Biology, ARC Centre of Excellence, The University of Western Australia

Steve Smith has degrees from Leicester, Indiana and Warwick Universities and has worked in three research Institutes (Rothamsted Research and John Innes Centre, UK, and CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, Canberra). He was a member of faculty at Edinburgh University from 1983 to 2004. He moved in 2005 as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow to The University of Western Australia where he helped to establish the Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. His research has been wide ranging within the areas of plant biochemistry and molecular biology. He was involved in the first days of plant gene cloning and pioneered the use of aequorin as a luminous reporter of calcium fluxes in plant cells. He has studied chloroplast and peroxisome functions, including starch and oil metabolism, hormone biosynthesis, sugar signalling, photorespiration and nitrogen assimilation. At The University of Western Australia he has carried out new research on cyanohydrins and karrikins from wildfires that stimulate germination of dormant seeds. Cyanohydrins provide a slow-release form of cyanide which can break dormancy. Karrikins are closely related to strigolactones but have a distinct mode of action, opening a new window on mechanisms for the control of dormancy in plants.

Kimberley Snowden, Plant & Food Research Ltd, New Zealand

Kim Snowden is a scientist at the Plant & Food Research Institute of New Zealand, working in the Breeding and Genomics group. She obtained her PhD from Auckland University, and subsequently spent time undertaking postdoctoral study in the USA (at Texas A&M University, UC Davis and the University of Arizona). Since returning to New Zealand she has set up a research programme to understand the molecular genetic control of branching in plants. Her laboratory currently focuses on the involvement of strigolactones in the control of branching. This includes work to determine the role of strigolactones in the growth and dormancy of perennial crop plants such as apple and kiwifruit. Recent work has sought to understand how strigolactones are perceived by plants, and the pivotal role of the α/β hydrolase fold protein DAD2 in this process.

4 Nov - 7 Nov 2013
New Zealand
meeting website