Reports from ICAR 2013 – Sarah Harvey

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Published on: August 12, 2013

Sarah Harvey, from the Beynon Group at the University of Warwick, brings us our final report from ICAR 2013.

I am a final year PhD student working in Professor Jim Beynon’s group at the University of Warwick. Our group focuses on the interactions of Arabidopsis with the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, a natural model system used for the molecular study of host-pathogen interactions. My project focuses on one effector protein identified from this pathogen and it’s molecular function within the host plant, including direct protein interactions and biochemical function, as well as transcriptional impacts on the host plant.

I was lucky enough to receive funding from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation through GARNet, and also from SEB and the Company of Biologists, which allowed me to attend The 24th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) in Sydney, June 2013. The conference is the world’s leading conference on Arabidopsis research and attracts many prominent researchers in the field as well as covering many areas of Arabidopsis research, for example biotic and abiotic stresses, epigenetics and hormones which were particularly interesting to me. (more…)

Reports from ICAR 2013 – Nur Izzati Mohd Noh

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Published on: August 7, 2013

The second of our posts from ICAR 2013 travel bursary awardees is from Nur Izzati Mohammed Noh, a PhD student in the Signal Transduction Group at the University of Cambridge.

From the 24th until 28th of June I was in Sydney, Australia, for ICAR 2013, and I had a chance to present a poster of my work. That was my first experience attending an international conference and I met a lot of great scientists who have done amazing studies on Arabidopsis. Here are some of the interesting topics that were presented in the conference: 

  • Ian Small (Western University of Australia) described his group’s studies on PRR (pentatricopeptide repeat) proteins, which are important for plant development. PRRs can recognise a specific sequence present in RNA to control gene expression. Ian’s group has also identified two arginine methylation genes, PRMT10 and PRMT5, involved in autonomous pathway and flowering time regulation. PRMT10 is a plant specific protein, whereas PRMT5 has a close homolog of human PRMT5. Together, PRMTs control plant development by regulating RNA splicing.
  • Gonzalo Estavillo (Australian National University) gave a talk on retrograde signalling and drought. It is known that organelles can act as sensors in order to tolerate environmental stress. However, how organelles are involved in this process is a big question to be answered. Estavillo’s group propose that plants can tolerate drought stress via SAL1 and PAP interaction. (more…)

Reports from ICAR 2013 – Emily Breeze

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Published on: July 25, 2013

This year GARNet was able to contribute to the travel costs of four students attending ICAR 2013, thanks to a kind donation from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. They will each write an article about their experience – here is the first, by University of Warwick student Emily Breeze.

Emily with her poster; and the inflatable plant cell BioBounce.

Global food security is one of the prominent challenges facing mankind with environmental stresses such as drought and pathogen attack causing significant crop losses worldwide. I am in the final year of my PhD at the University of Warwick researching the role played by the NF-Y transcription factor family in regulating the plant’s response to environmental stress, using the plant model organism, Arabidopsis thaliana.

I was fortunate to receive a travel bursary from GARNet funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, to enable me to attend the International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) in Sydney, Australia. ICAR is the primary international scientific conference for the Arabidopsis research community and around 700 delegates from all over the world attended over the five days, including a number of eminent scientists within my field of study. The conference was made up of a mixture of lectures from keynote speakers and concurrent symposium sessions on a wide variety of biological themes including development, epigenetics, proteomics, biotic interactions, systems biology, signalling, phenomics and translational biology. Although some of the topics were not directly related to my own research interests, they introduced me to novel techniques and approaches that I can potentially apply to my own research and/or in the future, as well as broadening my wider understanding of plant biology.

The thirteen keynote lectures given by internationally renowned plant scientists were all captivating. (more…)

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