Professor Mike Holdsworth, Plant and Crop Science Division, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham
Mon 27 Nov 2017, 12:05 - 13:00
Swann 7.15

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Louise Bishop (lbishop)

Oxygen is a key component of survival in plants and animals, sensed in both by the ubiquitin proteasome system, through analogous but mechanistically different mechanisms. Our recent work uncovered the simple biochemical mechanism that plants use to simultaneously sense oxygen and nitric oxide (NO), through the Cys-Arg/N-end rule pathway of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis [1,2]. The AP2-domain ERFVII transcription factors were the first identified plant substrates of this pathway, with conditional stability based on the oxidation status of amino-terminal cysteine. This mechanism is used by plants to measure important ecological cues to protect the stem cell niche and enhance survival [3].  I will discuss the comparative biology of oxygen sensing in plants and animals, how a land plant specific sensing mechanism evolved, and our current approaches to understand how plants use oxygen sensing in very unexpected ways to optimise growth and response to the environment.

1. Gibbs et al Nature 2011

2. Gibbs et al Molecular Cell 2014

3. Abbas et al Current Biology 2015