Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Plant Science Seminar: Dr Bronwyn Barkla

Aug 22, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dr. Bronwyn Barkla, Associate Professor at Southern Cross University will present a seminar on ā€œMaking epidermal bladder cells bigger – the role of endopolyploidy in plant salt toleranceā€

Tuesday 22nd August.
4:00pm – 5:00pm, Plant Genomics Centre Seminar Room


Trichomes are highly differentiated cell types found on the aerial epidermis of plants. Most commonly they manifest themselves as hairs on leaves, stems and flower buds, and serve a range of functions from protection against insects to heat resistance and moisture conservation. The salt tolerant plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (common name Ice plant) has specialized balloon-like trichomes called epidermal bladder cells (EBC) that are thought to play a role in sodium storage and salt tolerance, however, EBC are present on plants even in the absence of salt. In order to gain an integral understanding of the development and role of these cells we have taken a systems biology approach, combining data from global quantitative transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and ionomics studies with flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Our results demonstrate that these cells are highly metabolically active and not just passive stores for sodium. Recent works shows that the rapid expansion of the cells during development is due to a huge increase in ploidy, beginning in emerging leaves, to higher than 1028CĀ  in adult plants, with nuclei of greater than 100 microns in diameter measured in these cells. Salt-treatment leads to additional rounds of endoreduplication and transcripts and proteins involved in endopolyploidy are shown to be upregulated by salt in the EBC, suggesting environmental as well as developmental cues. It has been proposed that increased ploidy helps to mitigate stress damage, and the increase in cell size and ploidy observed in M. crystallinum under salinity may contribute to tolerance by increasing the store size for sodium sequestration.

If you would like to meet with Dr. Barkla while she is here, please contact Stav Manafis (stav.manafis@adelaide.edu.au).


About the speaker:
Dr. Barkla is an Associate Professor at Southern Cross University. Prior to that appointment she was a researcher at the Biotechnology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico for 20 years. She received her Master’s (1989) and Ph.D. (1994) in the Department of Botany at the University of Toronto and carried out Post-doctoral research in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford (1994ā€“1995). Bronwyn was the Vice President of the Mexican Proteomics Society from 2010 to 2012 and was on the Executive Board of the Society from 2008 to 2010. Bronwyn is a member of the ARC College of Experts, and is on the Editorial Board for Journal of Agricultural Sciences, and Frontiers in Plant Biology, as well as on the Peer Review Board for Journal of Visualized Experiments. Her research interests include studying the role of membrane proteins and lipids in abiotic stress tolerance in crop and model halophyte plants and she is currently using MS approaches to further understanding in this area. Her lab is one of only a handful of labs in Australia using the technique of Free Flow Electrophoresis to fractionate membrane proteins and reduce sample complexity prior to MS analysis. Recent work has focused on understanding the role of the modified trichomes called epidermal bladder cells on the leaves and stems of the halophyte plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum using a systems biology approach.


Aug 22
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Seminar room, Plant Genomics Centre
Hartley Grove
Urrbrae, SA 5064 Australia

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This