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A Voyage on the Sea of Phytomedical Research

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/05/01 10:00 AM
Dr. K. J. Senthil Kumar (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Forestry, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan)
Host: Lie-Fen Shyur

Biosensors and what we do NOT know about crop yield

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/05/08 4:00 PM
Prof. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer (Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf/ Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany)
Host: Cheng-Hsun Ho
In the first part, I will summarize some of the recent findings regarding the path of sugar from leaves to seeds. I will highlight the immense lack of knowledge in this particular field. Then I will switch to potential ways that may contribute to a better understanding of these processes.
Does grinding up a brain and measuring neurotransmitter levels by mass spectrometry help to understand the concepts of memory? Does analysis of the leaf sugar content tell us something about what determines crop yield? I propose that in order to understand complex phenomena like these, we need to know more, in particular about the where and when, with exquisite resolution. Where is the sugar? Does it actually move through plasmodesmata? What are the levels in which cell, in which compartment and how much is outside. What happens of we transiently block a step – what can we learn from the properties of the resulting traffic jam. Thus one tool we will need is something to transiently block a protein in a surgical manner. And we need to be able to measure the precise spatial and temporal dynamics of small molecules such as sugars as well as the in vivo activity of the participating enzymes and transporters as well as their regulators. The late Roger Tsien invented new concepts: the quantification of protein conformational rearrangements as proxies for analyte levels. He developed two principal sets of sensors: Förster resonance energy transfer sensors (which may not deserve the name) and conformation-sensitive single fluorophore sensors based on circularly permutated fluorescent proteins. My lab only expanded the tool set in two directions – for measuring small molecules such as sugars, amino acids, hormones and more recently as tools for reporting the activity of proteins – here transporters in vivo.

Targeting oncogene MCT-1 prevents tumor progression and alters microenvironment

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/05/14 10:30 AM
Dr. Hsin Ling Hsu (Associate Investigator, Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)
Host: Wen-Chin Yang

The immune modulators derived from nordihydroguaiaretic acid increase the humoral immunity against tumor

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/05/22 10:00 AM
Dr. Yu-Lin Ling (Assistant Research Fellow, Center for Bioinformatics Research, Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan)
Host: Lie-Fen Shyur

Regulatory network behind endodermal differentiation in plants

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/05/28 10:30 AM
Dr. Shuang Wu (Professor, Horticultural Plant Biology and Metabolomics Center, Haixia Institute of Science and Technology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China)
Host: Tzyy-Jen Chiou
The development of multicellular organisms requires precise control of cellular differentiation. The endodermis in plant roots is of fundamental importance for water and nutrient uptake, and is also an excellent model for studying developmental regulation of differentiation. Specified in the meristem, endodermis undergoes successive terminal differentiations, marked by the formation of Casparian strips and suberin lamellae. Although the endodermal initiation in meristem was shown to be controlled by SHORT-ROOT (SHR) mediated pathway, the mechanism promoting endodermal differentiation remains unknown. Here we examined the minimal regulators required for programing endodermal differentiation. Our results reveal that SHR serves as the master regulator of the hierarchical signaling cascades during endodermal maturation. We further analyzed the complex network downstream of SHR and provided the mechanistic insight into the function of SHR mediated pathway. Our study is a demonstration of the deployment of symplastic communications in the promotion of a specific cell fate.

Comparative genomics of plant defense in wild tomatoes

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/06/11 10:30 AM
Dr. David Haak (Assistant Professor of Plant Genomics, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, & Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA)
Host: Ming-Jung Liu
Food security remains challenging for both developed and developing nations, particularly in light of a changing climate. Plant pathogens alone account for an estimated 10-16% of global harvest losses, add in the additional effects of drought stress and annual crop losses are estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. One of the greatest barriers to understanding and predicting crop responses to future environmental change is our poor understanding of the functional and genomic basis of resistance traits for contemporary crops. Namely, how do stress response pathways interact to shape organismal fitness. To investigate the genomic basis of stress response pathway interaction and how this impacts organismal fitness, we capitalize on a specialty crop, tomato, which has a wealth of important genomic/genetic tools available and is also a member of a small clade of closely related (inter-fertile) species, facilitating investigations among wild crop relatives. I will characterize molecular differences among distinct genotypes representing an entire clade of ecologically diverse species, using complimentary ‘ecogenomic’ approaches.

Molecular insights of phytoagent deoxyelephantopin and its derivative against human triple negative breast cancer cell activities

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Academia Sinica
2018/07/16 10:30 AM
Dr. Jeng-Yuan Shiau (Dr. Lie-Fen Shyur's Lab)
Host: (Dr. Lie-Fen Shyur

SAMHD1 acts at stalled replication forks to prevent interferon induction

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/08/13 10:30 AM
Dr. Yea-Lih Lin (Researcher, Institute of Human Genetics, CNRS, France)
Host: Wen-Chin Yang
SAMHD1 was previously characterized as a dNTPase that protects cells from viral infections. Mutations in SAMHD1 are implicated in cancer development and in a severe congenital inflammatory disease known as Aicardi-Goutières syndrome. The mechanism by which SAMHD1 protects against cancer and chronic inflammation is unknown. Here we show that SAMHD1 promotes degradation of nascent DNA at stalled replication forks in human cell lines by stimulating the exonuclease activity of MRE11. This function activates the ATR-CHK1 checkpoint and allows the forks to restart replication. In SAMHD1-depleted cells, single-stranded DNA fragments are released from stalled forks and accumulate in the cytosol, where they activate the cGAS-STING pathway to induce expression of pro-inflammatory type I interferons. SAMHD1 is thus an important player in the replication stress response, which prevents chronic inflammation by limiting the release of single-stranded DNA from stalled replication forks.

Systems genetics and genomics insights into complex traits in aspen and Norway spruce

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/08/22 10:30 AM
Dr. Nathaniel Robert Street (Associate Professor, Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University, Sweden)
Host: Yao-Cheng Lin
We are interested in the genetic architecture underlying natural variation of complex traits and comparative genomics approaches to identify conserved and diverged regulation. To enable these studies, we have been establishing genome and gene expression resources for aspen (Populus tremula) and Norway spruce (Picea abies). I will present an overview of our genome sequencing projects and the associated PlantGenIE.org web resource (http://plantgenie.org), demonstrating how these can be used to address genomics questions. I will then show how we are applying systems biology and systems genetics to understand natural variation in complex traits such as leaf shape, biomass and specialised metabolite production and how these can be linked to gene expression variation to provide new insight into trait control and to identify new breeding target genes or alleles. I will also show examples of how we are using comparative genomics to understand differences in wood development between angiosperm and gymnosperm trees.

Environmental Epigenetics for the Primary Prevention of Cancer

Auditorium A134, Agricultural Technology Building, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
2018/09/03 10:30 AM
Dr. Sophie A. Lelièvre (Professor of Basic Medical Sciences with courtesy appointment in Nutrition Science; coleader, Drug Discovery & Molecular Sensing NCI-designated Purdue Center for Cancer Research; Scientific Director, 3D Cell Culture Core (3D3C) Facility, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Discovery Park, Purdue University, USA)
Host: Lie-Fen Shyur
In order to understand how to reduce the risk for chronic diseases related to metabolic changes like cancers, we need to decipher how environmental detrimental factors such as pollutants and high fat/high sugar dietary components modify the cells and their microenvironment. Similarly, the search for bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and fungi that would help decrease cancer risk requires the study of their impact on mechanisms of cancer onset. The chemical modifications on DNA and histones constitute the epigenome that, at any given time, controls gene expression. Since cancer onset is fundamentally linked to an altered epigenome, it is essential that the investigations of deleterious and protective environmental factors focus on epigenetic pathways. I will present how organs-on-a-chip, the state-of-the-art in vitro models prepared with humans cells, play a central role in this endeavor and might provide population-specific answers regarding how to modulate cancer risk. Oxidative stress, a paramount mediator of cancer related to pollution, psychological stress and unhealthy diet will be used as an example of how we can build a multi-organs-on-a-chip screening system.

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