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Plant Sciences at the Cambridge Science Festival 2016 - Plant and Life Sciences Marquee

When Mar 12, 2016 10:00 AM to
Mar 13, 2016 03:00 PM
Where Marquee outside the Department of Plant Sciences, Downing Street
Contact Name
Attendees All welcome, Drop in, no access issues
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Saturday 12 March: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Sunday 13 March: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Department of Plant Sciences, Marquee on the lawn, Downing Site, CB2 3EA

Researchers from the Department of Plant Sciences, Sainsbury Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Biology (NIAB) and across the biological disciplines unite to show how modern, data-driven technologies are used to understand plants from molecular to ecosystem level. Featuring synthetic biology, genetic inheritance, epidemiological modelling and food security.

Selection of plant science exhibits:

  • Can you tell me the time? 'Plants can' 
  • Listen to silence - Lighting the pattern of genetic recombination in plants 
  • Keep calm and get to know your algae
  • Big Data, Big Diseases, Big Predictions
  • The hidden processes of the plant world 
  • Food: Culture, nutrition and sustainability
  • Big data for better agriculture 
  • Synthetic Biology solutions 



More information about this event…

Meiotic recombination in plants

Christophe Lambing, Genetic and Epigenetic Inheritance in Plants Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

The interest of studying "meiosis" has increased significantly over the past 5-10 years before it become apparent that it is not possible to extensively increase the yield of the widely used cultivars due to their limited genetic diversity (mostly because of the domestication process).

Therefore it is important to cross the current cultivar with a close relative species through sexual reproduction and allow both genome to recombine and reshuffle. However some genomic regions (principally the regions close to the centromeres) are epigenetically silence and thus their chromatin are more compact and less accessible to proteins. This results in low recombination rate on these regions. Unfortunately several loci with agricultural values are located close to the centromere and therefore it is difficult for the breeders to recombine these loci and introduce more genetic diversity. one focus in the lab is to understand what factors are involved in the silencing of regions close to the centromeres and whether it is possible to remodel the epigenetic landscape in a way that will allow recombination to happen on these silence regions. Among these factors silencing the genomes are DNA methylation, methylation of histone 3 at the residue lysine  9 and chromatin remodellers