Elizabeth Waters

  • Apr 16, 2018

Date & Location: April 16, 2018, at 4p; Room 101 Biochemistry Building

SubjectBoechera, why are you so cool?

About the Speaker

University: San Diego State University

Abstract: Plants do not have a fight or flight response, they must respond to threats or stress in place or perish. My lab has long been interested in how the heat stress response and the heat shock proteins have evolved in plants. We are motivated by the following questions: which aspects of the angiosperm heat shock response are shared with related algae and which parts have evolved more recently? In addition, how do closely related plants adapt to varying climates? 

I will present data from evolutionary and phylogenetic analysis of heat shock protein evolution across great evolutionary distances, i.e. origin of land plants and origin of angiosperms, and discuss these findings in relation to recent functional and structural findings. My lab has also been studying a group of related native California plants within the genus Boechera (Brassicaceae). The Boechera are a large genus that are found mostly in the western US. I will present our genomic, transcriptomic, and organismal analysis of the variation in stress responses in Boechera species that inhabit the chaparral, coastal, mountain, and desert areas of California. I will present data that indicate that one species in particular, B. depauperata, is highly tolerant to heat stress and that this stress tolerance is not related to the upregulation of the heat shock proteins.