Get Growing Blog

The Deadly Messengers

March 9, 2021


How plants harness highly reactive products of stress.

We need to grow a lot more food, but we are running out of space to grow it in. Environmental stresses such as diseases are one of the largest causes of crop loss. If we can learn how plants respond to stress, then we should be able to apply this knowledge to increase the amount of food we produce on the land we already have. This talk will introduce you to a common plant response to a stress, the rapid accumulation of highly reactive oxidative radicals e.g. hydrogen peroxide, which can result in oxidative stress.

Ms. Bleau will discuss evolved mechanisms to make use of these radicals as signaling tools, how unregulated radicals can cause severe damage to the plant and provide an insight into how plants selectively regulate their response to environmentally induced oxidative stress.

Teacher’s Resources

This lecture comes with a complete lesson plan and accompanying Google Slide deck for you to customize for your class. To make an editable copy of the Google Slides deck for your classroom, click the link and select File > Make a copy.

Learn more about the teacher resources here

Jade Bleau

Jade Bleau

University of Edinburgh, Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences

Ms. Bleau’s research focuses on understanding how plants respond to environmental stress, particularly how they respond to pathogen infection. She has a diverse background in different aspects of Botany, including investigating palm tree morphology at Kew Gardens, examining the molecular biology of pathogens that attack vegetables, and most recently, elucidating the role of oxidants and antioxidants as signaling systems in responses to environmental stresses. She takes a special interest in research that has direct application to real-world problems, working with non-profit organizations such as CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International) to affect data-driven decision making. Her doctoral research as part of the EASTBIO program (the East of Scotland Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership) in the Spoel Research Group focuses on the mechanisms of redox signaling in the plant immune response.

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