Stress and Responses to the Enviroment
All cells and organisms are exposed to an ever-changing external environment, and internal perturbations, to which they must adapt to maintain the optimal capacity for growth and cell division. The nature of these adaptations varies depending upon the cell or organism type and the environmental condition to which a response is required, but the adaptations all have several features in common. First, a sensing mechanism to detect the environment or perturbation, second, a signalling mechanism to transduce the environmental signal into a biological signal, and third, a mechanism by which this biological signal effects changes to the cell/organism transcriptome or proteome. In this module we will examine four independent examples of how organisms and cells respond to environmental conditions. These are: the molecular basis of cell responses to carbon dioxide; maintenance and surveillance of protein folding homeostasis; interactions between insect herbivores and plants, exploring the molecular bases of conflict and coevolution; molecular basis of plant responses to light, freezing, osmotic stress and touch/gravity. Taught material will include current research carried out in the School.