Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Public-private partnership: Getting the balance right

IRRI Seminar (A panel discussion)

Eero Nissila
Elsie Quaite-Randall
Noel Magor
Sigrid Heuer
James Quilty
Alfred Schmidley

Moderator: Bas Bouman, GRiSP Coordinator
Introduction: Achim Dobermann, DDG-Research, IRRI

1315-1415 H, Thursday, 18 October 2012
Havener Auditorium, IRRI

The unique event will review IRRI’s history with private sector engagement and discuss varying viewpoints on the future of PPP by our IRRI panel before opening the floor to the audience. Diverse perspectives are welcome! 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Exploring regulatory networks of secondary cell wall formation during vessel development in monocots and dicots

Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division Seminar

By Lutz Neumetzler
Visiting research fellow
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division

1400 H, Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Room A, D.L. Umali Building


Plant cell walls provide rigidity, shape the habitus of an organ, and, in turn, form the plant body. They are designed to fulfill a variety of functions, among them, water and nutrient transport in heights up to 100 meters, resisting enormous negative pressure. During the life of the plant, different phases such as cell division, cell expansion, and cell differentiation require the cell wall to be flexible, expandable, and strong at the same time. This is achieved by a dynamic interplay between cell wall-synthesizing glycosyltransferases located in the Golgi Apparatus and in the Plasmamembrane; and glycosylhydrolases that remodel and fine-tune cell wall structure in the apoplast. Plant cell walls are comprised mostly of carbohydrate polymers and are thus one of the biggest sink compartments in the plant body. These fixed energy and carbon resources can be used in sustainable ways. In order to ease saccharification or deconstruction of cell walls for, e.g., bioethanol production, we attempted to understand regulatory and developmental programs by modifying receptor-like kinases and transcription factors in planta. Within the European consortium initiative Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE), Arabidopsis and Brachypodium distachyon, an annual grass model species, were used in a study to compare cell wall metabolism in monocots and dicots.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Varietal difference of ripening ability in rice

Crop and Environmental Sciences Division Seminar

By Fumitaka Shiotsu
Ibaraki University, Japan

1315-1415 H, Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Room A, D.L. Umali Building, IRRI


Steady increase of rice production warrants world food security in the future. However, improvements in rice yield potential have become stagnant recently not only in the tropics but also in Japan. In the seminar, we discuss the physiological characteristics of recent high-yielding varieties in Japan. In particular, we focus on the mechanisms responsible for varietal difference of the ripening (grain filling) ability. Our experiments showed that the "sink-source balance" was tightly linked to the ripening ability, and higher post-anthesis assimilation and stem reserves contributed to higher yield. We also found positive relationships between panicle morphology and ripening ability, suggesting that genetic control of panicle traits, at least in part, improves translocation efficiency and the ripening ability.