Accessibility statement

Not getting stuck in the cold

Tuesday 9 November 2021, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Laura Dixon, University of Leeds

Wheat is a global crop and an essential source of calories and protein for the population. My research group focusses on how wheat uses environmental signals to adapt, in particular, from the perspective of regulating flowering time and floral architecture. The best-known temperature related mechanism is vernalization, the requirement for a prolonged period of cold before a winter wheat cultivar can transition to floral growth. However, the warming environment is not only challenging the plants vernalization response but also our understanding of this response. I will discuss are recent advances in developing this understanding. Additionally, I will discuss the role of FLOWERING LOCUS T-like (FT) genes in these processes. In monocots, the FT genes have undergo a dramatic expansion in number. In wheat, the FT most similar to Arabidopsis FT (TaFT1) has maintained a role of a floral activator responsive to environmental signals. Whilst the other FT’s (a further 11 FT’s with genome expansions) have acquired subtly or significantly different functions. Through combining natural genetic diversity with environmental manipulation and molecular biology we are starting to identify the functions of more of these FT genes and their important roles in enabling environmental adaptation.

Location: Dianna Bowles Lecture Theatre (B/K018)