SPLS Tuesday Seminar - Time is of the essence: A systems approach to understanding nutrient homeostasis in plants

David Mendoza Cozatl, Associate Professor
University of Missouri
Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 4:00pm
Marley 230 & Live on Zoom https://arizona.zoom.us/j/88614287572 Password: spls2023

David G. Mendoza-Cózatl is an Associate Professor of Plant Stress Biology at the University of Missouri, Columbia, USA. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and completed a PEW postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Diego. His research focuses on understanding how plants acquire nutrients from the environment and allocate them throughout the plant, and this includes nutrient sensing and the molecular mechanisms behind plant adaptation to changing levels of nutrients. Understanding these mechanisms is critical to achieve food security and sustainable agriculture.
If given enough water and light, plants can assimilate all the nutrients they need in elemental or inorganic forms (e.g. Fe2+, SO42-) and synthesize all the molecules required to complete their life cycle. Biochemically speaking, this is a feat that only few organisms on Earth can achieve. Plants, however, also need to regulate the uptake of nutrients to prevent an overload. This is particularly critical for reactive elements such as iron (Fe), which is essential for respiration and photosynthesis but in excess, promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may damage proteins, membranes, and DNA. Sulfur metabolism in plants is tightly associated with Fe homeostasis; this may not be surprising considering that iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters are at the core of respiratory and photosynthetic complexes. However, how these two pathways communicate with each other at the molecular level is unknown. We recently discovered that the primary site of Fe sensing in Arabidopsis is the leaf vasculature of source leaves, which prompted us to pursue whole genome transcriptome analyses in leaves in response to Fe deficiency at relatively short periods of time (0-15 hr). Perhaps one of the most exciting results of this time-series analysis, was the discovery that genes associated with sulfur metabolism, including transport and reduction are tightly correlated with Fe deficiency responses. In the seminar, we will discuss a model that places AtNEET at the crossroad between Fe sensing, sulfur metabolism, and redox control in plants.
Join us at 3:30 p.m. in the Marley lobby for refreshments.
The presentation will begin at 4:00 p.m. in Marley 230
A live broadcast is available via Zoom:
https://arizona.zoom.us/j/88614287572  Password: spls2023