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Nitrogen fixing nodules in angiosperms: how and when did they evolve and can nodulation be extended?

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15 July 2014, 10.30am: Free
at James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Invergowrie, DD2 5DA
for scientists, staff and any interested parties
Professor Sprent with colleagues in the field ©  J Sprent

Professor Janet Sprent OBE, DSc, FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Dundee and Honorary Research Fellow at the James Hutton Institute, will give this seminar titled "Nitrogen fixing nodules in angiosperms: how and when did they evolve and can nodulation be extended?" at the James Hutton Institute Dundee. This seminar will also be broadcast live to the Aberdeen site.


It has been known for some years that all angiosperms bearing nitrogen fixing nodules belong to the Eurosid clade of angiosperms. The range of nodules formed will be briefly outlined. A paper due out in Nature Communications will show that the predisposition to form nodules is more ancient than previously thought (long before the K-T boundary) and that nodulation may have evolved independently a number of times. It further casts doubt on the likelihood of getting nodulated cereals in the foreseeable future, but suggests other angiosperms where this might (or might not) be achieved. The common signalling pathway between nodulating species and arbuscular mycorrhizas, notably the role of CCaMK will be discussed in the light of the new material that should be freely available when this talk is given.


Professor Sprent has been working on nitrogen nutrition of plants with an emphasis on nitrogen fixation for decades and has been working with scientists there since the Dundee site of the James Hutton Institute since was known as the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute.

Janet is a former Chairman of Governors at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute. Since retirement she has developed research collaborations in many countries, most recently in Western Australia (Murdoch University) and South Africa. With Euan James and software specialist Peter Winfield, she is compiling an interactive database, ILDON detailing all known features of legume nodules species by species, using the latest taxonomy.

This seminar will be hosted by Dr Euan James, Ecological Sciences.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.