On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology Seminar will feature Dr. Matthew Jenks from West Virginia University at 4:10 p.m. in Room 1414 in the Molecular Biology Building.
Dr. Jenks will present “The cuticle’s role in plant adaptation to water-limited environments, including the postharvest environment.” A plant and soil sciences professor, Dr. Jenks is the director of the university’s Division of Plant and Soil Sciences and co-director of the School of Agriculture and Food.
The cuticle forms the outermost barrier over most aerial plant surfaces, and its physico-chemical properties have been associated with plant tolerance to many forms of abiotic and biotic environmental stress. The hydrophobic nature of the cuticle confers a water barrier function, and a less permeable cuticle can more effectively limit transpiration and delay the onset of cellular dehydration stress when the capacity for water uptake becomes limited. My presentation will highlight our studies using a primarily biochemical-genetics approach to elucidate cuticle lipid biosynthetic pathways, identify the genes involved in cuticle production and associated stress responses, and discuss characteristics of the cuticle that underlie its function as a transpiration barrier. Besides cuticle function in plant drought tolerance, the presentation will also address our recent work revealing the important role of cuticle in prolonging postharvest shelf life of commercial fruits.
Refreshments will be served before the seminar at 3:45 p.m. in the MBB Atrium. Assistant Professor Marna Yandeau-Nelson is the host for Dr. Jenk’s visit.