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Temperature Integration via Phase change and Translation Of Proteins in plants

Objective

How eukaryotes sense and integrate temperature information is an open question in biology. Plants have evolved to grow across a wide range of climates, and experience large temperature gradients geographically, seasonally and over the 24 h diurnal cycle. The distribution and phenology of plants has altered in response to climate-change, and crop yields decrease by about 10% for every 1ºC increase in temperature. The mechanisms by which plants respond to temperature are however poorly understood. We have recently discovered two major nodes for sensing temperature status by plants: (1) Transcriptional- key proteins required for plant temperature responses contain prion related domains and are directly controlled by temperature dependent phase separation. (2) Translational- transcripts show preferential translation at high temperature, and have thermoresponsive hairpin structures. Building on these discoveries, we propose an ambitious programme to understand the fundamental principles by which the cell senses and integrates temperature:
(1) How do prion domain proteins sense temperature and control the activity of transcriptional regulators? What are the organising principles of their activity, and how can sequence variation such as repeat length tune and adapt thermoresponsive prion domain proteins to different climates? (Biochemistry and genetic analysis combined with high throughput functional screens)
(2) How is translation affected by warm temperature? What is the RNA secondary structure code that enables certain transcripts to be preferentially translated at high temperature? (Ribo-seq, quantitative proteomics and transgenic approaches)
(3) How can we use the knowledge gained above in (1) and (2) to engineer specific temperature response networks in yeast and plants? How can we create useful tools and assays to advance the field such as FRET biosensors for local temperature within the cell? (Bioinformatics, biochemistry and cell biology)

Call for proposal

ERC-2020-ADG
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Host institution

LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUR GEMUSE- UND ZIERPFLANZENBAU GROSSBEEREN/ERFURT EV
Address
Theodor Echtermeyer Weg 1
14979 Grossbeeren
Germany
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 2 139 500

Beneficiaries (1)

LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUR GEMUSE- UND ZIERPFLANZENBAU GROSSBEEREN/ERFURT EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 2 139 500
Address
Theodor Echtermeyer Weg 1
14979 Grossbeeren
Activity type
Research Organisations