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Redox Webinar Series 2022

Redox2022 Webinar detailed Programme

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Thursday 17 November 2022 - Redox stress in plant biology

15:00-17:00 (Time Zone CET Europe/Rome)

    Webinar Room Redox stress in plant biology

    Redox state changes in plant-pathogen interactions

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    Steady state equilibrium of reactive oxygen species (ROS) maintained by the scavenging ability of antioxidants plays important roles in the plant's normal growth and stress responses. The overproduction and accumulation of ROS molecules during plant-pathogen interactions that cannot be balanced with antioxidants lead to oxidative stress, which causes many negative cellular and molecular impacts. Changes in the redox state of the chloroplast contribute to exposure to oxidative stress during development of plant viral diseases, but they also play an important role in the host's defense responses against viral infections. Understanding the crosstalk between viral infection, redox signaling and host resistance may provide tools for designing strategies to mitigate the deleterious effects of viral infections on growth and yield. I will discuss what is now known about the molecular mechanisms underlying changes in redox state associated with plant-pathogen interactions, using viral diseases as an example, and the roles of ROS regulators in cross-talking with plant immune responses.

    by Kristiina Mäkinen, Senior University Lecturer, University of Helsinki

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    Kristiina Mäkinen is a senior university lecturer in applied biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland. Her research has focused on the cellular and molecular biology of plant potyvirus infection for over 20 years. Her Plant-Virus Interactions group is working at the moment specifically on an infection-associated molecular complex that is essential for virus translation, RNA silencing suppression and virion encapsidation. The group is also investigating the metabolic pathways affected by the infection.  Genes that encode proviral host factors are called susceptibility genes. The identification and functional characterization of susceptibility factors that can create virus resistance is the ultimate goal of her research. 

    Mitochondrial dysfunction in plants

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    Plants are frequently exposed to adverse environmental conditions, such as pathogen outbreaks, flooding or drought, which can negatively affect plant growth and deteriorate agricultural yield. To cope with environmental challenges, plants have evolved regulatory systems that activate defensive measures and halt growth upon stress perception, and inactivate the defenses when stress subsides. Mitochondria as metabolically versatile organelles are particularly sensitive to environmental fluctuations, and an increasing body of evidence indicates that stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction serves important signaling functions in plant cells. Disruption of metabolic circuits and accumulation of reactive oxygen species can launch mitochondrial retrograde signals, which retard growth and activate chemical defenses, thereby protecting cells against extensive damage. Collectively, the protective response elicited by dysfunctional mitochondria is termed the mitochondrial dysfunction response. In my lecture, I will discuss recent advancements in the understanding of plant mitochondrial dysfunction, the consequent protective responses and their transcriptional and post-translational regulation.

    by Saijaliisa Kangasjärvi, Associate Professor, University of Helsinki


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    Saijaliisa (Saija) Kangasjärvi acts as an Associate Professor in Translational Plant Science at the University of Helsinki, where her position is shared between the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. Her Crop Light research group works on plant light signaling and stress tolerance. The lab focuses on organelle dysfunction and its effects on disease resistance and leaf senescence. Many stress-induced phytochemicals affect the color, flavor and nutritional value of vegetables. Saija’s lab aims to translate the new knowledge for improved indoor cultivation and post-harvest quality of leafy greens. 


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