PS Seminar Series: PhD Exit Seminar - Thermal plasticity of leaf energy metabolism: ecological, physiological and biochemical linkages


Abstract - My PhD thesis research applied two widely used physiological measurements: temperature responses of leaf dark respiration (R-T) and temperature responses of dark-adapted minimal fluorescence (Fo-T). For R-T curves, R25 (leaf respiration at 25°C) and Tmax (i.e. high temperature at which rates of respiration are maximal were quantified, with the latter providing an estimate of respiratory heat tolerance (RHT). Fo-T curves were used to quantify the temperature (Tcrit) at which Fo rises rapidly as leaves are heated; this was used as a measure of photosynthetic heat tolerance (PHT). This thesis first investigated the components of thermal acclimation (plasticity) and inherent differences (evolutionary adaptation) in respiration and photosynthesis by combing field surveys and controlled environment studies. The above traits were quantified at six field sites in FNQ, WA, NT, NSW and Tasmania representing five thermally contrasting biomes across Australia, and in temperature-controlled glasshouses using species sourced from four thermally contrasting origins. The thesis also explored mechanisms underlying variation in heat response of PHT. The relationships between Tcrit with heat shock proteins (HSPs) abundance and membrane fatty acid composition were also explored in a tropical tree species.

Biography - I completed Bachelor and Master degree in Grassland Science at China Agricultural University. I was studying grassland carbon flux, soil and vegetation carbon and nitrogen dynamics under different land uses. I joined the Atkin lab to conduct my PhD study in 2013.

Date & time

3.30–4.30pm 18 August 2017


Slatyer Room (Rm 110), DA Brown Building (47), Daley Road, ANU


Lingling Zhu, Atkin lab, ANU


 Gagan Bhardwaj
 02 6125 9395

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