Talk by Professor George Coupland – University of Copenhagen

Copenhagen Plant Science Centre > Event calendar > 2015 > Talk by Professor Geor...

Talk by Professor George Coupland

On 11 May Professor Dr George Coupland from Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding, Cologne, Germany will give a talk on: "Seasonal flowering in annual and perennial plants".

We study how the floral transition is controlled by seasonal cues such as day length and winter temperatures. Our approach focuses on using Arabidopsis thaliana to decipher regulatory networks controlling these responses and on exploiting relative species, particularly perennial Arabis alpina, to determine how these networks change during evolution to confer ecologically significant differences in phenotype. Recent work used comparisons between A. thaliana and A. alpina to explain how perennial plants delay sensitivity to environmental cues to ensure that they only become competent to flower when they reach a particular age. We are now extending this work to explore how annual plants such as A. thaliana evolve to overcome this delay and therefore flower at an early age. In addition, we are exploring how the transcriptional cascade that controls response to day length intersects during floral transition with biosynthesis and signaling of the growth regulator gibberellin at the shoot apex. The talk will discuss events in the shoot meristem that control flowering time in response to seasonal cues.

George Coupland studied microbiology at University of Glasgow, graduated with First Class Honours (1981), took a PhD in molecular biology at University of Edinburgh (1984).

He went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Cologne (1985-1988), and became Research Group Leader at Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge (1989-1990).

He continued as Research Group Leader at John Innes Centre, Norwich (1990-2001), and became Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (since 2001).