Jole Stavans from Weizmann Institute Gives Webinar for IHB Researchers

Jole Stavans, Professor of the Department of Complex Systems Physics at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, was invited to have a webinar for researchers of the Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, on May 11, 2021. His lecture was titled "Pattern Formation in Anabaena, a One-Dimensional Cyanobacterial Sponsorship". 

Prof. Stavans' lecture centered on the formation and colony behavior of heterocyst by using cyanobacteria as a model.  

The cyanobacteria (Anabaena sp.PCC 7120) forms special heteromorphic cells to perform nitrogen fixation under the condition of nitrogen deficiency, which not only protects the damage of oxygen to nitrogenase, but also ensures the smooth development of photosynthesis of algae under the condition of nitrogen deficiency. 

Based on the heteromorphic characteristics of anabacteria, Prof. Stavans’team verified the expression of different regulatory proteins at different stages during the development of heterocyst. They used real-time observation and quantification of the promoter of these important regulatory proteins, such as PatU3, HetR, and HetN, in the process of heteromorphous cells formation, and revealed the formation pattern of heterocyst.  

Via the webinar system, Prof. Stavans interacted with IHB researchers on issues of common interests. 

Prof. Stavans worked in physics before shifting focus to biology, and his team used single-cell tracking techniques combined with mathematical modeling to study a range of biological phenomena. Recently, cyanobacteria have been used as a model to study the formation and colony behavior of heterocyst, which has laid a foundation for quantitative biology in this field. Prof. Stavans’lecture is a typical interdisciplinary one, combining the fields of physics, biology and mathematics.