Plant-environment interactions: plant strategies and applications

Tuesday 7th of June 2011, 01:00 PM (9 years ago)

Contact: Trish Fleming | trish.fleming@botany.otago.ac.nz | (03) 479 7577

A talk by Dr Rainer Hoffman, Lincoln University, Christchurch. A Department of Botany Lunchtime Seminar. In their natural environment, plants are exposed to a wide spectrum of environmental variables, including peak levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in summer, limited availability of water and nutrients, and many other abiotic and biotic factors. While the effects of these variables can impose considerable stress on plants, frequently they can also contribute to cross-tolerance. In many of these cases, flavonoids have been implicated as biochemical mediators. Our findings highlight the importance of UV radiation-mediated flavonoid production for preconditioning plants to better cope with other environmental variables such as drought. Our results are in line with plant strategy theory, indicating that investment into biochemical protection can come at a cost for primary productivity. The findings provide new avenues for plant improvement and crop production via the selection of productive germplasm that contains key protective metabolites to balance trade-offs between plant productivity and stress resistance. Applications of this knowledge in viticulture and oenology are also discussed. Note: Special time, day and Venue: Benham Seminar Room, Zoology Department.