Date & Time: 23rd November 2023 (Thursday), 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Venue: C V Raman Hall, IISER Tirupati Transit Campus
Speaker: Prof Maitrayee DasGupta ,Department of Biochemistry, Calcutta University
Title: “Symbiosis Receptor Kinase (SYMRK) guides the intracellular symbiosis between plants and diazotrophs”
Nitrogen fixation is an inherent trait exclusive to a select number of prokaryotes who enter into a mutualistic relationship with the eukaryotic world by exchanging fixed nitrogen for other benefits. In some plants restricted to a monophyletic clade, this relationship evolved into endosymbiosis where the nitrogen-fixing bacteria is taken up inside the plant cell within a newly formed organ called nodule. Bacteria inside living plant cells is a unifying and specific hallmark of the nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis, and was likely acquired only once as the key trait during the evolution of the nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis. We try to obtain insight into the molecular-genetic changes underlying the origin of this symbiosis. I would focus my talk on SYMRK and demonstrate how it evolved to have a ‘double lock’ to guard the progress of symbionts toward their intracellularisation in symbiosis-competent plants.
Maitrayee DasGupta, is a Professor in Department of Biochemistry, University of Calcutta. Her research focuses on probing the molecular innovations associated with the origin of symbiosis between plants and N2 fixing bacteria. She is a JC Bose National Fellow and is fellow of all 3 National Academies for her contribution to our mechanistic understanding of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Presently, she is the Secretary of West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology. By training Prof DasGupta was a Biochemist. She was a gold medalist from University of Calcutta Dept of Biochemistry 1982 and did her PhD in Department of Biochemistry, Bose Institute in Kolkata 1987. Her acquaintance and training on Protein Kinases was during her postdoc with Dr DK Blumenthal in Univ of Texas, Tyler (1987-1990), and then again in Univ of Utah, Salt lake City (2003). Then in 2010 she had professional exposure on symbiosis research during her stay in University of Vermont with Fulbright fellowship in Dr Jeanne Harris lab. Her research on symbiosis was mainly supported by a Centre of Excellence program by DBT (2010-2017).