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    FACULTY OF BIOLOGY

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    Diversity matters

    09/23/2021
    Ecosystem with alpine vegetation at Mount Kilimanjaro.

    The higher the biological diversity in an ecosystem, the better the important processes there function. A heterogeneous environment promotes this effect, while intensive land use weakens it, as a new study shows.

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    Three important pollinators in Europe (from left): hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), the yellow loosestrife bee (Macropis europaea) and the common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus).

    The newly funded EU Horizon 2020 project Safeguard will address the decline of wild pollinators, its effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and options to restore pollinator diversity.

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    Deadwood in the beech forest near the ecological station of the University of Würzburg. Fungi have set about decomposing the logs.

    The time deadwood in forests needs to decompose depends on climate as well as on fungi and insects. Researchers have now quantified the contribution of deadwood to the global carbon cycle.

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    Researcher Katalin Karikó receives a prestigious award from Würzburg.

    With her research, biochemist Katalin Karikó laid the foundation for the development of RNA vaccines against the coronavirus. Now she is being honoured for this by the Würzburg Societas Physico-Medica.

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    A peptide hormone not only provides energy, but also helps to balance activity and rest in the fruit fly Drosophila.

    In the fruit fly Drosophila, a hormone helps to balance rest and activity. This is shown by a new study of a research team led by the University of Würzburg. Might humans have a hormone with comparable function?

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    A nocturnal dung beetle climbing atop its dung ball to survey the stars before starting to roll.

    Light pollution makes it difficult for dung beetles to find their way. This is probably also true for other nocturnal insects and birds, as researchers suspect.

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    The genetic material of the thale cress comprises around 125 million base pairs. A team from the University of Würzburg has now taken a closer look at three million of them.

    The characteristics of plants of the same species can have different genetic causes depending on their origin. This is shown by a recent study at the University of Würzburg.

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    Remote control for stomatal movement. Green light can activate the GtACR1 channel in guard cells that surround an open pore (left). Active GtACR1 channels release chloride ions, which automatically also causes the efflux of potassium ions and the release of water (middle). Because of slackening of the guard cells the stomatal pores in the leaf surface close (right).

    Plant researchers have a potent new tool at disposal: In the journal Science Advances, a research team from Würzburg shows how to close the stomata of leaves using light pulses.

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    When plants are flooded for a long time, they suffer damage. Würzburg researchers are investigating what happens in plant cells during flooding.

    If plants are flooded, they lack oxygen and their cells over-acidify. A sensor protein detects this and triggers a stress response. Researchers have now presented details about this topic in the journal Current Biology.

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    A buff-tailed bumblebee and a 3D model of the bumblebee brain, based on micro-CT. The blue regions symbolise the primary olfactory centres. The yellow/orange regions process visual information from the compound eyes, the turquoise coloured visual information from the ocelli. Shown in red/orange are the mushroom bodies important for learning. The insects' inner compass, the central complex, is green.

    A three-dimensional atlas of the bumblebee brain is now available. It will allow to even better research how nerve cells are interconnected and how they process information.

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    SMN is concentrated in the Cajal bodies (left, red) in the nucleus of human cells (blue). If phosphorylation of SMN is inhibited, the concentration ceases and Cajal bodies disappear.

    Some proteins concentrate in certain places in the cell nucleus. A new study with Würzburg participation now shows how this happens. The results could contribute to a better understanding of a rare disease.

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    A crane takes the researchers to the uppermost treetops to study the seasonal fluctuations of the water balance.

    When trees die during a drought event, they die of thirst: A field study on spruce trees shows that an abrupt collapse of the hydraulic system is responsible.

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    Events

    PHD defense Yang Zhou; Fakultät für Biologie

    “The exploitation of opsin-based optogenetic tools for applicaion in higher plants"

    04/30/2021, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Logo Biozentrum der Universität Würzburg
    Category: Fakultät für Biologie, Kalender-JMU, Kolloquium, Promotionskolloquium
    Location: Seminarpavillon des Julius-von-Sachs-Instituts
    Organizer: Fakultät für Biologie, via Zoom
    Speaker: Yang Zhou, M. Sc.