Torsdagsseminar om organelleforskning

Professor Sigrun Reumann holder torsdagsforedrag om peroxisomer, en type organeller som fins i celler.

Professor Sigrun Reumann er forsker ved Centre for Organelle Research, CORE. Torsdag holder hun torsdagsforedrag om peroxisomer, en type organeller som fins i celler.

Arrangementet starter kl 14:15 og finner sted på Rom A-204 , Kjølv Egelands hus, UiS.

Foredraget vil bli holdt på engelsk og har tittelen: "Peroxisomes, a Cell Organelle Class with Numerous Unknown Essential Functions: The Significance of Fundamental Plant Research".

Her følger et sammendrag, også det på engelsk:

Deadly dysfunction
Most people have a rough idea what mitochondria and chloroplasts are, but the third major cell organelle, the peroxisome, is less well known.

Peroxisomes are ubiquitous to nearly all cells except for bacteria. Most organisms with dysfunctional peroxisomes are not able to survive. Children with inherited defects in peroxisome functions mostly die at very early stages.

Peroxisome research worldwide presently focuses on four model organisms, namely baker’s yeast for fungi, human and mouse for animals, and Arabidopsis for plants. The best known functions of peroxisomes are the detoxification of harmful reactive oxygen species and the degradation of fatty acids.

Novel proteins
Plant peroxisomes are also involved in photorespiration, a side reaction of photosynthesis. A large German research consortium presently focuses on this “old-fashioned” pathway to improve the efficiency of plant biomass production. However, due to experimental challenges our knowledge of peroxisomes has remained quite limited.

In addition to experimental large-scale strategies, i.e., so-called proteome analyses, we recently developed a new approach, trying to combine biochemistry with computational research (“bioinformatics”).

We thereby identified many novel proteins and unexpected functions of plant peroxisomes. Because plants are most exposed to environmental stresses and pathogens, plant peroxisomes have model character for fungi and animal research.

Immune systems
For instance, plants have recently been shown to also possess a kind of immune system to defend themselves against pests and pathogens.

Several components of this important immune system now appear to be located in peroxisomes. These new defense mechanisms are presently deciphered at the molecular level.

This fundamental knowledge will be important to increase the natural resistance of crop plants to insects and pathogens and their adaptation ability to extreme environmental conditions by smart breeding and genetic engineering strategies.