Kiel Plant Center

Mini Symposium January 2020

Jan 23, 2020 from 04:30 PM to 06:30 PM

ZMB - Am Botanischen Garten 11, room 4.003

16:30 Welcome
Prof. Dr. Eva H. Stukenbrock

Session 1
Chair: Dr. Karin Schrieber

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Caroline Müller
Affiliation: Bielefeld University, Chemical Ecology
Title: Plant responses to global change from a chemical ecological perspective

Our world is currently changing drastically. For example, with global climate change the intensity and frequency of extreme climate events like drought periods and heat waves are predicted to increase. Crop plants such as wheat thus need to cope with changes in both irrigation amount and frequency. We investigated how these two factors affect the growth and leaf chemical composition of wheat plants and how this in turn may influence interactions with other organisms such as aphid herbivores. Another aspect of global change are plant invasions. Comparisons of foliar metabolomes of plants originating from native and invasive populations grown under standardised conditions revealed interesting insights in potential invasion routes and mechanisms of plant adaptations to novel environments. Finally, pollutants such as heavy metals are contaminating soils. Some plants can deal with these pollutants and even accumulate high concentrations of heavy metals in their tissues. We studied the effects of heavy metal contamination in the soil on the chemical composition of aboveground tissues in Arabidopsis halleri and its consequences on interactions with herbivores. Using these three quite distinct examples, I will highlight how chemical ecological approaches can help us to understand consequences of global change on plant-herbivore interactions.

17:15 Coffee Break

Session 2
Chair: Dr. Dirk Schenke

Speaker: Kiran Singewar
Affiliation: CAU, Institute of Agricultural Process Engineering (AG Prof. Dr. Eberhard Hartung)
Title: Birch-MeSA: Genes involved in constitutive production of Methyl salicylate in Birch

The genus Betula is the largest group of ecologically and economically dominant perennial woody plants in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also a rich source of the anti-inflammatory organic compound Methyl salicylate (MeSA) that is used in many drugs for the treatment of muscle injuries and joint pain. Noticeably, not all species of the genus Betula produce high amounts of MeSA. Further, their inter-species relationships and the information of involved genes in MeSA biosynthesis is almost missing in the literature, making the pharmaceutical use of MeSA difficult. To this end, species determination in Betula and their phylogenetic relationships inferred from multiple chloroplast and nuclear regions reveal that the high MeSA-producing Betula species formed the oldest clade, and it had gone lost sometimes during the evolution of the genus. Further, the transcriptome of two birch species, one highproducer, and one low-producer, will be studied for the factors underlying in constitutive production of methyl salicylate.

Speaker: Jana Stelzner
Affiliation: CAU, Botanical Institute (AG Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bilger)
Title: Different stressors – same response: Inducing the accumulation of phenylpropanoids in sunflower leaves

Abiotic factors such as white light, UV radiation, low temperature and nitrogen deficiency are well known for inducing the accumulation of flavonoids as UV protecting pigments. However, compounds of the closely related class, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives (HCAs), are often constitutively formed. Since it has been shown that HCAs can replace the missing flavonoids in sunflower leaves as UV-A screening compounds, we wondered if HCA accumulation in sunflower is regulated by environmental conditions. Therefore, we determined epidermal UVA screening by chlorophyll fluorescence and used this as an indirect measure of HCA content in sunflower leaves during their exposure to sunlight, white light, UV-A radiation, low temperature and nitrogen deficiency. Our results show that these abiotic factors induce the accumulation of HCAs with leaf age dependent kinetics.

18:25 Closing Remarks Dr. Karin Schrieber

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