[ASC-list] Free science talk, Melbourne, Wednesday 22nd October, 8:00pm

David Vaux D.Vaux at latrobe.edu.au
Mon Oct 13 22:32:40 UTC 2008

ANZAAS Vic Science Talk, Free, all welcome (booking not needed)
Free pizza and drinks after the talk

Casey Plaza Theatre, Bowen Street, RMIT University

Wednesday 22nd October 2008, at 8 pm

Professor Marilyn Anderson

Department of Biochemistry, La Trobe University

How flowering plants select their sexual partners and protect their sexual
tissues from infectious diseases.
Unlike animals, flowering plants can not move around to select their sexual
partners, yet they have evolved very efficient mechanisms to ensure they
outbreed to maintain hybrid vigour in their offspring. How they do this has
intrigued plant biologists for more than a century because most flowers have
both male and female sexual organs right next to each other. They reject
their own pollen. This talk will describe how flowers recognise and reject
self-pollen and why they accept pollen from another plant of the same
species. Participants will learn why they need at least two cherry or apple
trees to get a good crop of fruit. Flowers appear promiscuous because their
female tissues are in open display to capture their potential male partner
as it passes by in the wind or is delivered by an insect or animal
pollinator. Surprisingly flowers rarely become infected by microorganisms
that are floating around in the environment.  This is how plants practice
safe-sex. Flowers have an arsenal of molecules to protect them against
potentially damaging microorganisms. Some of these molecules and their mode
of action will be described as well as the potential commercial application
of these molecules for protection of crop plants against devastating

***We are pleased to acknowledge the support by CSL and RMIT University for
the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series***

Further Info:
Peter Kemeny:  Tel: 0409 028 165
               email peter.kemenyATgmail.com


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