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Dr. Ivan Baxter, USDA Research Scientist, Assistant Member and Principal Investigator, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, will be speaking at the Danforth Center’s Fall Symposium on Thursday, September 29, 2011.
Dr. Baxter uses high-throughput elemental profiling to measure the elemental composition of plant tissues including soybean seeds and corn kernels. These data are used to perform genetics and modeling to understand how the interactions of elements, genes, and the environment determine the elemental composition of plants and allow plants to adapt to different environments. He received his B.A. in chemistry from Goucher College and his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular structure and chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute. Post-doctoral work was done in plant bioinformatics/ionomics at Purdue University.
His research focuses on the understanding how plants regulate element composition of tissues is critical for agriculture, the environment, and human health. Sustainably meeting the increasing food and biofuel demands of the planet will require growing crops with fewer inputs such as the primary macronutrients phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). P in fertilizer is non-renewable, too expensive for subsistence farmers, and inefficiently utilized by crops, leading to runoff and severe downstream ecological consequences.
In addition, Dr. Siobhán Brady, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Biology and Genome Center, University of California-Davis will be speaking Thursday, September 29, 2011.
She will be addressing the topic, “Mapping Spatiotemporal Gene Regulatory Networks in the Arabidopsis Root Stele.” The in depth presentation will cover how arabidopsis root development provides a remarkably tractable system to delineate tissue specific, developmental gene regulatory networks and to study their functionality in a complex multicellular model system over developmental time. Tightly controlled gene expression within tissues is a hallmark of multicellular development and is accomplished by transcription factors (TFs) and microRNAs (miRNAs). Her lab present an automated, enhanced yeast one hybrid (eY1H) assay using a tissue-specific TF resource to comprehensively map gene regulatory networks in the Arabidopsis root stele. These gene regulatory networks are robust and highly combinatorial in nature. Using these methods and computational modeling, they have additionally modeled a gene regulatory network that regulates distinct transcriptional events in developmental time. Distinct regulatory modules were identified that temporally drive the expression of genes involved in xylem specification and in the subsequent synthesis of secondary cell wall metabolites associated with xylem differentiation.
Dr. Brady earned her Ph.D in plant developmental biology at the University of Toronto in 2005. She was awarded an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship and continued her research from 2005-2008 in the Department of Biology and Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University. She was awarded the ASPB Early Career Award in 2009. Dr. Brady's research focuses on understanding how transcriptional regulatory networks govern plant root development and function.
To learn more about our 13th Annual Fall Symposium visit, http://www.danforthcenter.org/fall_symposium/. For the most up-to-date information, please follow us on Facebook & Twitter #FallSymposiumSTL.
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