Genetics 300: Molecular Mechanisms of Plant Signal Transduction


Plant growth and development are highly plastic and adaptive, as well as remarkably resilient and perpetual, primarily due to their ability to sense and respond to a wide range of environmental stimuli (such as light, nutrient, temperature, water, gravity, touch, wounding and pathogens) and a broad spectrum of chemicals and peptides as plant hormones. The development of model plant systems and new cellular, genomic and computational tools has facilitated the dissection of plant signal transduction pathways. This course will provide a general introduction to several plant model systems (Arabidopsis, maize, rice, Medicago truncatula, Chlamydomonas, and cyanobacteria) and new cellular and genomic tools for probing the molecular mechanisms underlying plant signal transduction pathways. Each student will choose one specific topic and make a presentation on the background and recent discoveries during the course. All students will participate in the discussion of 2-3 recent papers each session. The course is open to all members of the research community (graduate students, undergraduates, post-docs, etc.) with or without Harvard affiliation.

Topic Suggestions:

1. Systems and tools for studying plant signal transduction: genetic, genomic, cellular, molecular and biochemical approaches

2. Plant hormone sensing and signaling

3. Nutrient sensing and signaling

4. Light sensing and signaling

5. Stress sensing and signaling

6. Plant-microorganism interactions: defense & symbiosis

7. Plant stem cell signaling: embryogenesis and organogenesis

Quarter Course

Spring Term (First Session)

Meeting Dates: January 29, 2003; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5, 19

Meeting Time: 2:30 - 4:30 pm, Wednesday

Location: Wellman 1100, Massachusetts General Hospital

Jen Sheen (Medical School) 3892

Note: Please send e-mail to Jen Sheen for registration before the first meeting on January 29, 2003.

PowerPoint Presentations

Circadian Rhythms in Plants

by Elena Baena Gonzalez


Ethylene Signaling in Plants

by Sang-Dong Yoo


SAR Signaling

by Wisuwat Songnuan

Plant Root Endosymbioses

by Ethan Levesque

miRNAs and other RNAi-related factors: functions in plant and animal gene regulation and development

by Gabriel Hayes