Translating the Chemical Language of Plants

In the third major symposium of Plant Biology 2017, researchers from around the world will come together to share their insights into the chemical vocabulary of plants at a dedicated session, “The Chemical Dictionary of Plants: Origin and Translation”. Organizers Eran Pichersky (University of Michigan) and Natalia Dudareva (Purdue University) have lined up a diverse range of speakers to discuss ground-breaking insights into the biosynthesis and function of these secondary metabolites in plants, including their often overlooked role in development.

Plants interact with their environment using a diverse suite of chemical compounds, conveying messages to attract pollinators, warn neighbors of attack, and much more. Deciphering this language of volatile and non-volatile chemicals is key to understanding these important signals, which can have a wide range of biological, agricultural, and industrial applications.

Recent innovations in multidisciplinary analysis have led to exciting discoveries in the language of small molecules in plants. Advances in genomics and metabolomics have enabled speaker Kazuki Saito (Chiba University) and colleagues to pinpoint the genes responsible for producing a variety of compounds in model species as well as crop and medicinal plants. Elizabeth Sattely (Stanford University) will discuss her recent efforts to accelerate the discovery and engineering of metabolic pathways in several species. The University of Amsterdam’s Harro Bouwmeester will dive into the complex effects of strigolactones in roots, including their roles in stress resilience, and in plant–plant and plant–fungi interactions. Finally, attendees will not want to miss the talk by organizer Natalia Dudareva, who will discuss her revolutionary discovery that the emission of floral scent compounds are not passive, as was previously believed.
“The Chemical Dictionary of Plants: Origin and Translation” will be held 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM Monday, June 26, 2017 at Plant Biology 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Registration is open now. For more information and a full list of the multidisciplinary sessions on offer, visit Plant Biology 2017.


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