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Professor Staffan Persson Visits HZAU

Staffan Persson, Changjiang Chair Professor of HZAU and professor of The University of Melbourne, paid a visit to HZAU on 24th March. He gave lectures themed by “Controlling biomass production -a framework for intracellular trafficking of the cellulose synthase in Arabidopsis” and “Brassinosteroid signalling directly regulate cellulose synthase behavior” for the faculties and students from the Bioenergy team of Plant Science department and postgraduates from other departments.

Professor Persson first lectured on “Controlling biomass production -a framework for intracellular trafficking of the cellulose synthase in Arabidopsis”. The CesAs, a Cellulose Synthase ,is assembled in Golgi / ER and transferred to the plasma membrane. Many genes share the same expression of CesAs, among which are STL1 and STL2. Arabidopsis lack of these two genes will produce cellulose deletion phenotype and be sensitive to Yi Cao amine. STL1 and STL2 are located in the Golgi and derived from vesicles of Golgi. Losing these two genes, the distribution of CesAs in the Golgi will be changed. STL protein can affect the assembling and integrity of CesA complex, thereby reducing the speed of transportation of CesAs from the Golgi to the plasma membrane.

In the second lecture, “Brassinosteroid signalling directly regulate cellulose synthase behavior” he briefed participants upon the connection between Brassinosteroid signalling BR and Cell Wall Synthesis. Since BIN2 protein is a precursor of the BR synthesis, the transportation speed of CesA will be slowed down in the Bin2 mutants. Through phosphorylation of CESA1, BIN2 can inhibit the vitality of CesA complex and control biomass production. Faculties and students exchanged views with professor Persson after the two lectures.

In the following days, professor Persson listened to the reports presented by 3 postgraduates and a doctor’s candidate from the Plant Department and met with two postgraduates just enrolled in 2016. Since he started tutoring the first group of postgraduates from HZAU in 2014, professor Persson required his postgraduates to submit a monthly research report and then gave detailed guidance to solving problems in the experiments by using Skype. During this visit, professor Persson joined the project discussions with several doctor’s candidates in Bioenergy experiments and provided valuable suggestions for their papers to be published.

(Translated by Ying Jiawen)