|Year of election:||2008|
|Section:||Organismic and Evolutionary Biology|
CV Caroline Dean - English (pdf)
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Major scientific interests: Flowering time, vernalisation, natural variations, FLC expression, adaptation
Caroline Dean is a British plant biologist who decodes the mechanisms of plant flowering times. Her work focuses on molecular control of flowering time after long periods of cold and the adaptation of flowering mechanisms to changed climate conditions.
Flowering time is a matter of life and death for plants. If they flower too early, they could freeze when it gets cold again. Dean and her research group investigate molecular mechanisms that plants use to determine the right time for flowering. She works primarily on the process of vernalisation, which is the induction of flowering through exposure to cold temperatures. For flower formation to be set in motion, some plant types require a period of cold for a specific length of time. Dean and her colleagues want to find out how different climate zones and mild-weather periods during winter influence this process. They investigated thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) and determined that the FLC (flowering locus C) gene suppresses the start of flowering at low temperatures. After a long period of cold temperatures, the gene then switches itself off, and the plant begins to flower.
In further studies, Dean is investigating which signal pathways control the activity of the FLC gene and natural variation in the vernalisation process. This is because the duration of the FLC gene’s flowering barrier varies in different climate zones; the gene has adapted to differing environmental conditions. Dean’s research results thus provide important insights for crop cultivation.
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|Phone||0345 - 47 239 - 122|
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