PMB Seminar Schedule

Fall 2017

August 22, 2017

Light-regulated genome reorganization in plant development

Dr. Mia Feng, Department of Biology, Duke University

Host: Dr. Jenny Xiang


August 29, 2017

Innovative Mass Spectrometry Approaches to Unravel Biology

David Muddiman, Department of Chemistry, North Carolina State University

Host: Dr. Deyu Xie

September 5, 2017

No Seminar

September 12, 2017


September 19, 2017

Beneficial modulators of the gut microbiome: galacto-oligosaccharides and lactose intolerance

Dr. Andrea Azcarate-Peril , Department of Cell Biology and Physiology,
Director, Microbiome Core Facility, University of North Carolina

Host: Eric Miller

September 26, 2017

Integration of genome-wide approaches with imaging tools and modeling to understand network dynamics regulating stem cell

Dr. Ross Sozzani, Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University

Host: Dr. Margo Daub

October 3, 2017

The Garden Asparagus Genome Sequence Sheds Light on the Origin and Early Evolution of Sex Chromosomes

Dr. ​​​James H Leebens-Mack, University of Georgia

Host: Dr. Jenny Xiang


Sex chromosomes have evolved from autosomes hundreds of times across the tree of life, yet the molecular and evolutionary processes underlying these transitions remain obscure. Garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.), a dioecious species with a recently evolved homomorphic sex chromosome pair, is ideal for studying the earliest events in sex chromosome evolution. Sequencing and comparative analyses of male and female asparagus genomes have implicated a 1 Mb male-specific region on the asparagus Y chromosome. We have identified two independent male-to-hermaphrodite mutants that implicate a single gene in this male-specific region as responsible for dominantly interrupting pistil development. Anther development is not affected in these mutants but male-to-female conversions are seen in two other mutants with deletions spanning the 1 Mb non-recombining sex determination region. This region contains 12 gene models in addition to the female suppressor including defective in tapetal development and function 1 (TDF1). In support of the a model proposed by Charlesworth & Charlesworth (The American Naturalist 1978) for the origin of sex chromosomes, these finding imply that the origin of a non-recombining sex determining region on the Asparagus proto-Y chromosome involved the linkage of a male promoting gene with a dominant suppressor of female organ development.

October 10, 2017

Tolyporphins, peculiar bacteriochlorins from a cyanobacterium-microbial community: Lights, camera, genomes!

Dr. Eric Miller, Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University

Host: Dr. Deyu Xie

October 17, 2017

Metabolic flux analysis in plants and microbes: insights into efficiency, engineering and evolution

Dr. Yair Shahar-Hill , Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University

Host: Dr. Heike Sederoff

October 24, 2017

Cryogenic Scanning Electron Microscopy: Principles, Practices and Applications

Dr. Chuanzhen Zhou , North Carolina State University, AIF

Host: Dr. Candace Haigler

Abstract. Cryo-scanning electron microscopy (CSEM) is reviewed by exploring how the images obtained have changed paradigms of plant functions and interactions with their environment. Its power to arrest and stabilise plant parts in milliseconds, and to preserve them at full hydration for examination at micrometre resolution has changed many views of plant function. For example, it provides the only feasible way of accurately measuring stomatal aperture during active transpiration, and volume and shape changes in guard cells, or examining the contents of laticifers. It has revealed that many xylem conduits contain gas, not liquid, during the day, and that they can be refilled with sap and resume water transport. It has elucidated the management of ice to prevent cell damage in frost tolerant plants and has revealed for the first time inherent biological and physical features of root/soil interactions in the field. CSEM is increasingly used to reveal complementary
structural information in studies of metabolism, fungal infection and symbiosis, molecular and genetic analysis.

October 31, 2017

Agriculture Biotechnology: Past, Present, and Future

Dr. Kirk Francis, BASF

Host: Marcela Rojas-Pierce

November 7, 2017

Plant reproduction: Fertile ground for new breeding technologies

Dr. Timothy Kelliher, Syngenta, RTP

Host: Dr. Bob Franks

November 14, 2017

Floral pharmacies for native bees

Dr. Rebecca Irwin, Department of Applied Ecology, North Carolina State University

Host: Dr. Bill Hoffmann

November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving holiday season


November 27, 2017 (note date change)

Auxin Signaling from Perception to Response

Dr. Mark Estelle, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego

Host: Dr. Anna Stepanova (Shared with Genetics) at

The Estelle laboratory uses the genetically tractable plant Arabidopsis thaliana to identify and characterize auxin response pathways. Their work has shown that auxin promotes the rapid degradation of a family of transcriptional repressors called the Aux/IAA proteins via the ubiquitin proteasome pathway.

Monday’s at 1:30 pm

Stephens Room
3503 Thomas Hall

December 5, 2017

Final exam week