Skip to main content

Plant Molecular Biology Consortium


The Plant Molecular Biology Consortium sponsors monthly seminars featuring nationally recognized academic and industrial plant scientists. Membership is open to plant scientists associated with any of North Carolina's colleges or universities and any representatives from companies involved in plant molecular biology.

29th Annual Plant Molecular Biology Retreat
September 18 - 20, 2015
Asheville, NC

View program

Featuring Keynote Speakers:

Peter McCourt, University of Toronto

John Edward Hamer, Monsanto


2015-2016 Seminar Series

Meetings are held from 6 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Meetings begin promptly at 6 p.m.; Light refreshments served at 7 p.m.  No registration required to attend.

Download 2015-16 Seminar Series flier

February 8, 2016

"The Next –Ome: Genome-wide RNA Structure and Abiotic Stress Response”

Dr. Sally Assmann
Penn State University

RNA structure is intimately connected to RNA function. Because RNA structure is highly sensitive to the physico-chemical environment, including temperature, crowding, pH, and divalent cation concentrations, the structure of the same RNA molecule can differ radically in vitro vs. in vivo. We recently developed a method, Structure-seq, that combines chemical probing of RNA structure with high throughput sequencing, thus allowing characterization of RNA structure genome-wide and in vivo1,2. Our application of Structure-seq to the reference plant Arabidopsis has revealed significant correlations between DMS reactivity and alternative polyadenylation, alternative splicing, and gene function1-3. In particular, we find that mRNAs of housekeeping genes tend to exhibit features associated with structural stability, while mRNAs of genes encoding proteins with stress-related functions tend to exhibit features associated with structural plasticity. We also find correlations between mRNA structure and structure of the encoded protein. We are currently applying Structure-seq to rice in order to assess genome-wide changes in RNA structure induced by abiotic stressors, to evaluate the hypothesis that such structure changes play significant roles in the regulation of gene expression.

February 22, 2016 

Dr. Richard Michelmore
UC Davis

March 7, 2016

Dr. Rod Wing
University of Arizona

April 25, 2016 Dr. Richard Amasino
University of Wisconsin

             We'd like to thank our Corporate Members:


Return to the EG homepage