Xiao-Ning Zhang

  • Oct 8, 2018

Date & Location: October 8, 2018, at 4p; Room 1200 Molecular Plant Sciences Building

Subject: How do plants cope with perturbation of pre-mRNA splicing?

About the Speaker

University: St. Bonaventure University

Research Interests

Living organisms constantly incorporate information/signals from surroundings in their survival strategies and to maximize reproductive success. My long-term interest is to understand how plants integrate environmental cues, including biotic and abiotic stresses, into the regulation of growth and development. One step toward this understanding is to answer the question: how do plants adjust growth and development by regulating pre-mRNA splicing in response to environmental signals?

Pre-mRNA splicing is a necessary regulation step in all eukaryotic cells. Using next generation sequencing (NGS), scientists have discovered an increasing number of splicing events that have not been documented before even in well-studied species. So far, my lab has found evidence that a splicing activator, SR45, is involved in plant growth and development and responds to cold/heat stress and sugar supplies (Plant Physiol. 150:1450-1458. 2009). Our work has shown that a single phosphorylation event on SR45 protein is directly affecting SR45 functions in a tissue specific manner (Plant Signaling & Behavior. 9:e29134. 2014). In addition, we also identified new associations between SR45 and 7 proteins, including U5 snRNP components and SR proteins, using co-immunoprecipitation (Plant Signaling & Behavior. 9:e29134. 2014). In collaboration with a computer scientist, Dr. Padmini Srinivasan, from University Iowa and biologists in University of Maryland, we developed and field tested a literature scanning system for biologists: FERRET (BMC BIOINFORMATICS. 16:198. 2015). This paper has been accessed more than 4000 times in the first month of publication.