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Joint Seminar: A brief ecology of tree ferns and Gene transcript regulation in apple skin cell layers during fruit development and ripening Event as iCalendar

18 June 2018

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1, Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds Street, Auckland Central

Host: School of Biological Sciences

James Brock | A brief ecology of tree ferns

James’ PhD research looked at determining the importance of tree ferns (Cyathea spp.) to New Zealand forests, and explored the mechanisms underpinning the different distributions and roles of the different species.

First, he considered the way in which tree ferns enter ecosystems through a laboratory experiment on gametophytes of three New Zealand species. Second, he used field data and manipulative experiments to compare possible mechanisms by which tree ferns might influence community composition.

Finally, he assessed the effects of different tree fern abundances on forest structure over 2,500 year periods using simulation modelling. If you’ve ever wondered how tree ferns shape the forests of Aotearoa New Zealand (whether the silver fern is anything more than a logo), then this seminar might just scratch a pterido-ecological itch...

Patrick Collins | Gene transcript regulation in apple skin cell layers during fruit development and ripening

The fruit skin is a key component in many aspects of fruit development and quality. Malus x domestica (apple) skin has two distinct cell layers, the epidermis and hypodermis, which cover the cortex (flesh).

Due to difficulty in studying the individual cell layers, there is a poor understanding of how the skin changes during development and ripening. A laser capture microdissection methodology was developed for isolating the two specific cell types of the skin.

Novel functions of the epidermis and hypodermis cells were uncovered, with expression patterns that suggest a significant role in cell wall loosening and anthocyanin/flavonoid production.

It is anticipated that discrete spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression seen in apple can contribute to future breeding programmes and molecular discovery programmes aimed at improving skin quality for an economically important crop.