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The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Prize Lecture 2007

By Professor Ottoline Leyser, Department of Biology, University of York

Plants monitor a wide range of information from their surrounding environment. They combine information of multiple sorts, and respond in an appropriate way. In animals a large part of this job is done by the nervous system, with the brain acting as a central processor for the information collected. In plants there is no brain, and the information processing is distributed across the plant body. Much of this is achieved through the action of hormone signals that move throughout the plant and interact to integrate information and control specific responses. A good example is the number of branches a plant makes. This depends on many things - the quality of the light in which it is growing, the availability of nutrients, and the health of the existing growing tips of the shoot. All this information is channelled through a hormone signalling network and integrated to allow the plant to produce the number of branches most appropriate for its environment

Ottoline Leyser is Professor of plant Developmental Genetics at the University of York. Her research is aimed at understanding the complex network of long-range hormonal signals that regulate shoot branching in plants. She is particularly interested in integrating cellular level gene regulatory networks with hormone transport and whole plant level effects.

Click here for details of the Rosalind Franklin Award

This lecture is FREE. No advance booking or registration required.