Exciting Week for the Wagner Lab

Friends and Colleagues come and go, but sometimes they come back for a visit! This week the Wagner lab was thankful to have TWO visitors!

Back for her second Plant Talk,  Dr. Heather Meyer from Carnegie’s department of plant biology gave a very impressive talk about her work titled “Investigating intrinsically disordered proteins as thermo-sensors in Arabidopsis thaliana”.

Additionally, Dr. Nobutoshi Yamaguchi, a former post-doc at the Wagner lab, visited this week to reunite, catch up, and learn more about data analysis.

This week is also flu shot week so some members of the team got their flu shots and had fun celebrating modern medicine.

To capture this moment we accompanied our visitors to West Philadelphia restaurant Abssinia where we dined on delicious plates with the Gallagher lab.

FAREWELL DR. JIANQIANG SHEN

The Wagner Lab wishes Dr. Jianqiang Shen great success as he travels across the country to study cereal crops in the Lemaux Lab  in University of California, Berkeley. We are so honored to have had the privilege of working with him and look forward to keeping in touch.

SAMANTHA KLASFELD ORGANIZES AND TEACHES INTRODUCTORY PYTHON BOOTCAMP

Balancing lab with the classroom, Wagner Lab graduate student Samantha Klasfeld worked with other graduate students in her graduate program (Genomics and Computational Biology) to build an 8-week curriculum to teach other UPenn graduates, undergraduates, faculty, and more the basics of programming in python. Topics of the course include:

  • Conditional (If/Then) Statements
  • Loops
  • Custom Functions
  • Lists
  • Dictionaries
  • File Writing/Reading
  • Common Python Libraries
  • Custom Python Modules
  • Pandas
  • Plotting in Python

Each class consists of lectures and labs for each of the topics. Labs are completed by the students, and TAs gives feedback to teach students to not just code for the correct outcome, but also how to make their code efficient and easy to read.

 

RUN JIN VOLUNTEERS TO TEACH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BIOLOGY

Wagner Lab Graduate Student Run Jin stepped out of our lab to volunteer her time to work as a lab assistant for the Biomedical Research Academy.  This three week program gives highly motivated high school students from across the world (40% international students) a unique insight into biomedical research. Recruiting around 100 students every summer, the Academy introduces students to basic molecular biology concepts, real scientific literature, and hands-on biological experiments.

 

WAGNER LAB CELEBRATE RENEE AND NEW POST DOC DR. MIN WANG

Today the Wagner Lab celebrates a hello and a farewell. The Wagner lab undergraduate researcher Renee Hastings has graduated and is off to graduate school at Stanford to continue her studies in Biophysics! Meanwhile, we also welcome Dr. Min Wang of whom traveled to our lab all the way from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China! We ate delicious Chinese food on a handsome day in Philly as we look forward to the future research of these talented women.

Integration of transcriptional repression and Polycomb-mediated silencing of WUSCHEL in floral meristems.

Citation:

Sun, B., Zhou, Y., Cai, J., Shang, E., Yamaguchi, N., Xiao, J., Looi, L.S., Wee, W.Y., Gao, X., Wagner, D. & Ito, T. (2019). Integration of transcriptional repression and Polycomb-mediated silencing of WUSCHEL in floral meristems. The Plant Cell, tpc-00450.

Abstract:

Arabidopsis floral meristems terminate after the carpel primordia arise. This is achieved through the timed repression of WUSCHEL (WUS), which is essential for stem cell maintenance. At floral stage 6, WUS is repressed by KNUCKLES (KNU), a repressor directly activated by AGAMOUS (AG). KNU was suggested to repress WUS through histone deacetylation. However, how the changes in the chromatin state of WUS are initiated and maintained to terminate the floral meristem remains elusive. Here, we show that KNU integrates initial transcriptional repression with polycomb-mediated stable silencing of WUS. After KNU is induced, it binds to the WUS promoter and causes eviction of SPLAYED (SYD), which is a known activator of WUS and can act in opposition to polycomb repression. KNU also physically interacts with FERTILIZATION-INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM (FIE), a key PRC2 component, and mediates the subsequent deposition of the repressive histone H3 lysine 27 tri-methylation (H3K27me3) for stable silencing of WUS. This multi-step silencing of WUS leads to the termination of floral stem cells, ensuring proper carpel development. Thus, our work describes a detailed mechanism for heritable floral stem cell termination in a precise spatiotemporal manner.

Notes:

Related External Link

DR. DORIS WAGNER RECEIVED THE 2019 FELLOW OF AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLANT BIOLOGISTS AWARD

Dr. Doris Wagner is honored as a recipient of this year’s Fellow of American Society of Plant Biologists (ASBP) Award along side four other colleagues. The Fellow of ASPB Award was established in 2007 and is “granted in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the Society by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service.”