Plant aging

 Plant Senescence & life history
Plant senescence and the concomitant death, one of the most dramatic wonders we encounter in nature, is the inevitable final stage of development during plant life span. The grand scenery of plant senescence and death is observed over the rice, corn, soybean, and wheat fields in their harvest time. The organ level plant senescence is observed during the magnificent change of leaf color and the following death of autumn leaves.

Plant senescence and death processed represents one very important and unique aspect of life: Plant senescence and death have a biological “purpose” that is to provide the nutrients to progeny as a parental investment through a highly regulated, programmed disassembly process. During senescence, plants execute active but self-destructive program in an orderly manner with slow kinetic rate. This altruistic program is controlled by fine coordination of evolutionarily acquired genetic processes for increasing the fitness of plants. The contribution of the senescence process to fitness of plants is easily seen in leaf senescence. In annual plants, leaf senescence and the associated cell death serve as a mean to disassemble the nutrients from the leaves and to relocate the nutrients to progeny as a parental investment.

Plants, as the primary producer in the ecosystems, are critical resources for wealth of human being, by providing food, materials, energy, and oxygen, and by consuming carbon dioxide. In fact, many of the grains we consume are nutrients derived from leaves during their senescence and death processes. The productivity of plants can be highly increased by modulating senescence process. In our example, modulating soybean senescence by a senescence-regulatory gene resulted in more than 30% increase in a field test. All organisms undergo aging and face death at the end. How time is incorporated into aging and death is a fundamental biological question. Understanding of senescence and death in plants may provide unique regulatory mechanisms that are not found or are easily recognizable in animal systems and thus a new paradigm in perceiving aging and death.

The overall goal of the project is to gain insights into system-level understanding of senescence and cell death processes in plants from the aspect of life history strategy at molecular, cellular, intercellular, organ and organismal levels and thereby to obtain breakthrough knowledge to improve plant productivity. In addition to molecular genetic approaches, we are extending our knowledge by investigating multidimensional transcriptome-level features of leaf life history and senescence using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology during the entire life cycle of wild type Arabidopsis leaves. Furthermore, taken advantages of current development on the cutting-edge multi-omics technologies, we are trying to investigate a broad range of unrevealed molecular and physiological changes during plant lifespan

  – To define spatio-temporal network dynamics with finding of key regulatory modules during life history and senescence
– To identify key molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating senescence and death in the context of life history strategy
– To elucidate interaction of endogenous and exogenous signals with life history and senescence
– To define evolution of senescence and death in plants
  1. Spatio-temporal dynamics of molecular networks along life history and senescence
– Network dynamics along life history and senescence
– Spatially-coded intracellular, inter-cellular and inter-organ networks in life history and senescence
– RNA-regulatory mechanism controlling leaf lifespan
– Functional regulatory transition along life history and senescence
– Construction of transcriptional network among ARRs and elucidation of their functions
2. Molecular and cellular regulatory mechanisms in life history and senescence
– Epigenetic control as a regulatory mechanism controlling leaf lifespan
– Dynamic regulation of chromatin architecture along life history and senescence
– Aging-associated RNA integrity control
– Protein synthesis regulation for maintaining cellular apparatus during senescence in the translational level
3. Stochastic nature of senescence and death
4. Evolution of life history, senescence and death

Functional and regulatory programs in young and old leaves during lifespan
 Member for these studies
Kim, Jeongsik
E-mail :
Kim, Jin Hee
E-mail :
Kim, Hyojung
E-mail :
Park, Su Jin
E-mail :
Seo, Souk
E-mail :
Lyu, Jae Il
E-mail :
Lee, Sichul
E-mail :
Lee, Shinyoung
E-mail :
Lee, Ilhwan
E-mail :
Lee, Jinwon
E-mail :
Choi, Seung Hee
E-mail :
Phee, Bong-Kwan
E-mail :
Hong, Sunghyun
E-mail :
Timilsina, Rupak
E-mail :
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