Monday, November 13, 2006 - 9:00 AM

Exploring Mechanisms of Heat Tolerance in Perennial Grass Species from Whole-plant to Molecular Biology.

Bingru Huang, Dept. of Plant Biology and Pathology, 59 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

High temperature is a major factor limiting growth and productivity of cool-season grass species. The optimum temperature for shoot and root growth ranges from 10 to 24oC. However, air and soil temperatures are often far above the optimum temperatures. Grass species vary greatly in plant tolerance to high temperatures. Many physiological factors could be involved in plant adaptation to high temperatures. Understanding physiological factors associated with heat tolerance would provide insights for exploring molecular biology of heat tolerance and for developing heat-tolerant plant materials through traditional breeding and biotechnology. Research has been conducted at Rutgers university to exploring heat tolerance mechanisms of a cool-season turfgrass species, Agrostis stolonifera, and a geothermal species, Agrostis scabra, at whole-plant, cellular, and molecular levels. Specific traits and pathways associated with heat tolerance for these two species will be discussed.