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Investigating the O3-induced Ca2+ signalling pathway in Arabidopsis

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Ground level ozone is deleterious to both vegetative and reproductive growth with severity depending on the sensitivity of the genotype. With the frequency of ozone “episodes” set to increase, global yield losses in 2030 are predicted to be from 4-26% for wheat, 9.5-19% for soybean, 2.5-8% for maize and worth up to US$35 billion. Ground level O3 enters through stomata where it reacts in the apoplast to form several types of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) including hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals. The formation of these ROS plays a significant role in triggering downstream signalling pathways, including an increase in [Ca2+]cyt, ROS burst, alterations in gene transcription and cell death. We have shown that Arabidopsis Annexin1 (AtANN1), which is part of a multigene and multifunction family, forms a plasma membrane hyperpolarisation-activated Ca2+ permeable conductance that is activated by hydroxyl radicals (OH▪). Atann1 mutants lack this Ca2+ conductance in both epidermal and root hair apical plasma membrane and are impaired in both H2O2 and salt stress induced Ca2+ signalling. In turn this lack of Ca2+ response has a significant effect on downstream gene expression. I will present data exploring the role of AtANN1 in O3-mediated stress responses, with a focus on O3-mediated Ca2+ signatures. Interestingly, similarities between O3-induced signalling and the Hypersensitive Response (HR) are striking, and preliminary data suggested ANN1 could also play a role in Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMP)-triggered signalling pathways.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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