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Professor Marilyn J Roossinck, Pennsylvania State University, USA

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11am, 27 September 2011
at The James Hutton Institute, Dundee
for scientists, students and other interested parties
Image for the JHI Seminar Programme

Professor Marilyn J Roossinck from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Pennsylvania State University, USA will deliver this seminar entitled "Wild Plant Viruses and Sustainable Agriculture".

The first virus discovered was a plant pathogen, Tobacco mosaic virus. Since then (1898) viruses have been predominantly thought of as the causative agents of disease. However, a majority of viruses probably do not cause disease, and some are clearly mutualists.

Marilyn and her team have found several viruses that provide tolerance for abiotic stress in plants. They have found that viruses of fungal endophytes can have profound effects on the plants that the endophytes colonise. The team has also discovered hundreds of persistent viruses in wild plants that do not appear to induce any pathology. The role of these viruses in the ecology of their plant hosts, and the potential role of persistent viruses as epigenetic elements makes this field of research especially important in the current changing environment, where plants, including crop plants, may require mechanisms for rapid adaptation to changing environments.

This seminar will take place at The James Hutton Institute Dundee and will be broadcast live to the Aberdeen site.

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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.