Olivier van Aken, Dept. of Biology, Lund University
Daniel Hofius, Plant Biology, SLU
Lennart Kennes sal (A281), The SLU BioCenter
14:00 - 15:00
Exploring molecular stress signaling pathways in plants

As plants cannot move away from suboptimal conditions, they have developed various physiological and molecular defence systems. Chloroplasts and mitochondria have been shown to play important roles in perception and response to environmental stress conditions. To allow efficient coordination between these organelles and the rest of the cell, a signalling network is in place that mediates feedback communication between mitochondria/chloroplasts and the nucleus. This organelle-to-nuclear communication is termed ‘retrograde’ signalling and affects nuclear gene expression. We have now identified various transcription factors that modulate retrograde regulation of mitochondrial and chloroplast functions in Arabidopsis thaliana. Multiple stress-related signalling pathways, with distinct kinetic signatures, converge on overlapping gene sets involved in energy organelle function. Furthermore, an independent and highly transient gene expression pathway, which is induced within 10-30 minutes after spray treatments, also targets energy organelle functions, and is related to touch- and wounding responses. In our research, we are trying to expose the underlying mechanisms that regulate these stress responses in plants.