Dr. Felipe Yon

   Department of Molecular Ecology
 Phone:+49 (0)3641 57 1127Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:+49 (0)3641 57 1102Hans-Knöll-Straße 8
  emailD-07745 Jena

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PhD Thesis

Timing for outcrossing: Circadian clock regulates floral rhythms with large fitness consequences
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Biologisch-Pharmazeutische Fakultät
First Supervisor: Prof. I.T. Baldwin
Co-Supervisor(s): Ph.D. S. Kim, Prof. Dr. M. Mittag (Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena)

Plants communicate by different mediums and signals, not only aboveground but also underground. Several works has been done about aboveground communication of the wild plant Nicotiana attenuata in greenhouse and in field experiments, in this case the aim of the research is to look for possible chemical signal(s) related to underground communication in intraspecific interactions of N. attenuata. The approach will use chemical and phytohormone analysis, measures of morphological root traits, as also bioassays. Different sets of N. attenuata plants will be used, to emulate some of the many different interaction scenarios that occur in the native habitat, located in Utah-United States. This research has importance in order to know how a wild plant (Nicotiana attenuata) increases their chances to survive by emitting chemical signal(s) at soil level to improve its own performance or reduce the performance of neighboring plants.

Current Research (PhD Thesis):

The circadian clock in plants regulates most of the plant development from germination to seed maturation. Components of the central oscillator and several regulatory loops have been identified using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, sequencing of other plants species shows that the clock is highly conserved. The wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata serves as an ecological model plant, providing a good background and molecular toolbox for evaluating the relevance of the circadian clock in its native habitat and the biotic interactions with herbivores and pollinators. Studies with N. attenuata allow us to extrapolate real interactions that cannot be clearly observed in crop plants due to the loss of interactions during domestication processes. We have found interesting interactions between diurnal rhythm of N. attenuata and pollinators such as Manduca sexta during the group’s two decade field work. Based on field observation, I will work on the characterization of the circadian clock of N. attenuata and elucidate the circadian importance of plant-pollinator interactions and plant fitness in nature.
last updated on 2012-12-26