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Mon Nov 24 12:21:28 EST 1997




Evolution of Gravitational Sensing and Interaction with Other Sensory

JULY 12 - 17, 1998

Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH

                                     (Michael L. Evans, Chair and Ruth
Anne Eatock, Vice Chair)

                                     This conference will be the last
such conference of the 20th century and this perspective has led us to
select an evolutionary theme as our focus, with a secondary theme of
the overlapping of environmental response systems as a consequence of
evolution.  The conference will begin with a consideration of the
physical limitations of gravisensing (quantitative treatment) and then
address gravisensing/response from simple to more complex systems.=20
This will include talks on the nature of gravisensing and response in
microorganisms (bacteria/single celled eukaryotes) to multicellular
lower organisms to complex plants and animals.  The theme will include
a consideration of the evolution of loadbearing structures both at the
cellular (cytoskeletal) level and the whole organism level.  In
addition there will be symposia on the mechanisms of gravisensing and
on the overlap of gravisensing/response systems with other response
systems (e.g. gravitropism/phototropism interaction).  We will extend=20
the level of complexity theme all the way to the influence of gravity
on the evolution of ecosystems with a novel symposium on astrobiology
during which we will consider how the strength of the gravitational
force influences the evolution of life and ecosystems.


List of general topics, speakers and tentative titles.  Three remaining
speakers to be added.

(For additonal information and instructions on registration procedure,
visit the Gordon Research Conferences web site at
http://www.grc.uri.edu/ or the web page for this particular conference

Limits of Gravisensing

Paul Todd, Univ. of Colorado       Physics of gravisensing

David Klaus, Univ. of Colorado          Effects of microgravity on the
development of microorganisms

Evolution of Gravisensing/response Systems: Cytoskeleton/Extracellular
Matrix Interaction

     Paul Blount, Univ. Texas Southwestern   Bacterial mechanosensitve
channels, from genes to physiology

Mike Gustin, Rice Univ             Stretch activated channels and
osmosensing in yeast

Owen Hamill, Univ. of Texas, Galveston  Stretch-activated channels

Richard Cyr, Penn State Univ       BY cells as model systems for
subcellular effects of gravity

Evolution & Transduction Mechanisms in Load Bearing Systems

Karl Niklas, Cornell Univ               Evolution of Load Bearing
Systems in Plants

Zigmunt Hejnowicz, Silesian Univ        Plant responses to mechanical

Teresa Nicolson, Max Planck Inst, T=C5bingen   Mechanotransduction
mutants in Zebrafish

Evolution/Genetics  of Gravitropism  and Mechanosensing=20

=46red Sack, Ohio State Univ              Evolution of
gravisensing/response systems in plants

Monica Driscoll, Rutgers Univ      Genetics and models of
mechanotransduction in the roundworm,                                 =20
Caenorhabditis elegans

Patrick Masson, Univ. Wisconsin         Genetics of Arabidopsis

Maurice Kernan, SUNY Stoneybrook        Using Drosophila mutants to
find the molecular bases of                                 =20

Primitive graviresponse systems/specialized mechanosensors

Ruth Hemmersbach, Inst. Aerospace       Graviorientation in protists=20

     Medicine, K=EEln  =20

David Corey,   Harvard Univ.            Genetic approaches to the inner
ear in mouse and man

David Cove,    Univ. of Leeds, England  Gravitropism and phototropism
in moss

Cellular level systems/specialized mechanosensors

Peter Gillespie, Johns Hopkins          Molecular and biophysical
approaches to transduction and

     Medical Inst                       adaptation in  vertebrate hair
cells                                 =20

Klaus Palme, Max Planck            Molecular characterization of the
auxin transport carrier

      Inst., Cologne         =20

Guy Richardson, Univ. Sussex,      Development of hair cell epithelia


Elmar Weilar, Ruhr Univ., Germany       Mechanosensing and calcium
channels in plants


Donna Fekete, Purdue Univ.              Development of the inner ear

Andrew Staehelin, Univ. Colorado        Morphology of gravisensing
cells in the root columella=20

Bernd Fritzsch, Creighton Univ.         Mechanisms that guide and
maintain proper connections between                                =20
the inner ear and the brain

Elison Blancaflor, Penn State Univ.          Selective laser ablation
of gravisensing cells in roots of Arabidopsis

Genetics and Sensory Systems

Terri Lomax, Oregon State Univ.         Gravitropism response mutants
and auxin transport patterns

Jay Goldberg, Univ. of Chicago          Why do amniote vestibular
organs have type I hair cells?

Roger Hangarter, Indiana Univ.          Interactions between
phytochromes and gravitropic response                              =20
systems in Arabidopsis

Dora Angelaki, Univ. Mississippi        How does the brain distinguish
gravity from linear acceleration?

     Medical Center, Jackson

Astrobiology -- Gravity and Evolution, the Big Picture

Jack Cohen, Univ. of Warwick, England   Evolution and extraterrestrial
life forms</bigger></bigger>

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