Plenary Closeup: Communicating Across Boundaries

 Plenary Closeup: Communicating Across Boundaries

“Be ready to be challenged,” said Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso of the University of Leeds, previewing the #PlantBio2023 plenary “Intercellular Communication in Plants: The Long and Short of It,” taking place Tuesday, August 8, at 9:00 am. 

“Intercellular communication is interdisciplinary, incorporating biochemistry and mathematics, among other fields. The research into plasmodesmata, the communication channels between cells, is quite challenging, and there is little known about their regulation by the plant. Decisions about opening or closing these channels happen fast and are very specific to the molecules being transported. We are, basically, just starting to understand some of these processes.” 

“In the long term – the very long term – we hope to achieve, for example, crop improvement or plant resilience,” she continued. “My idea is that we can integrate knowledge of intercellular communication with other pathways that are better known and see when this transfer is important and when it doesn’t really matter.” 

Benitez-Alfonso will be joined by other experts in plasmodesmata biology: plenary convener Sessen Iohannes of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Tessa Burch-Smith of Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Margaret Frank of Cornell University and Friedrich Kreigler of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology.  

“I love interacting with other researchers,” Benitez-Alfonso concluded, “and I think Plant Biology creates that space of cross-disciplinarity where you can access research with no boundaries.” 

Read the plenary description, and see more scientific content in the complete Plant Biology 2023 program