Plant Alchemy: Converting Calcium Depletion into Stress Tolerance Gold

Monday, January 29 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Schrenk Hall, Room 126
400 W. 11th St., Rolla, MO 65409

Biological sciences is hosting Dr. Kendal Hirschi, professor of pediatrics and nutrition and human and molecular genetics from Baylor College of Medicine at Texas A&T University. His talk is titled, "Plant Alchemy: Converting Calcium Depletion into Stress Tolerance Gold."

Recent research has revealed that plants can adapt to the challenge of flooding, a significant issue in agriculture, by adjusting their response to low oxygen levels. Oxygen availability is essential for wetland species, rice farming, and crop growth in flood-prone regions. This study investigates the crucial role of calcium and specific proteins known as CAX transporters, which are present in all plants, in regulating elemental levels within plant cells under low oxygen conditions. Surprisingly, mutant plants lacking CAX have displayed improved tolerance to low oxygen and submersion conditions, highlighting how the absence of this gene can enhance plant stress resilience. Genetic analyses suggest that these mutant plants undergo changes similar to naturally flood-tolerant crops. This research implies that manipulating the CAX pathway to redistribute elements has the potential to bolster crop resilience to flooding, ultimately benefiting global
agricultural productivity. 

Event Type

Meetings, Lectures and Conferences


College of Arts, Sciences, and Education, Biological Sciences

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