Cell & Developmental Biology
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Temperature Perception and Development
We study how plants sense changes in environmental conditions, particularly ambient temperature, and how these signals are integrated into development. Using Arabidopsis thaliana, we have performed genetic screens to identify mutants in key regulatory components of the temperature sensing pathways. Interestingly, many of these lines have altered growth, indicating the importance of integrating temperature sensing signals into plant development. Our work has revealed a novel role for chromatin structure in mediating temperature signals, and we are extending this work to try to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying temperature perception.
A major developmental response strongly influenced by ambient temperature is the floral transition. We are studying how the flowering pathways interact with ambient temperature and the underlying mechanisms. We are complementing molecular genetics with modelling approaches in collaboration with the Richard Morris group (JIC) to understand the regulatory logic underpinning the floral transition.
In addition to Arabidopsis thaliana, we work with the model monocot, Brachypodium distachyon. Brachypodium has the advantage of a fully sequenced genome and excellent genetics. Advances in Brachypodium will help us understand how crop plants such as wheat and rice are responding to climate change.
Wigge P. A., Kim M. C., Jaeger K. E., Busch W., Schmid M., Lohmann J. U., Weigel D. (2005)
Integration of spatial and temporal information during floral induction in Arabidopsis
Science 309 1056-1059
Pullen N., Jaeger K. E., Wigge P. A., Morris R. J. (2013)
Simple network motifs can capture key characteristics of the floral transition in Arabidopsis.
Plant Signaling & Behavior 8 (11) 26149
Kumar S. V., Lucyshyn D., Jaeger K. E., Alós E., Alvey E., Harberd N. P., Wigge P. A. (2012)
Transcription factor PIF4 controls the thermosensory activation of flowering
Nature 464 (7393) 242 -