Plant development and signal transduction_1

Light control of plant development. We are studying the shade avoidance syndrome (SAS) in Arabidopsis thaliana, which refers to the set of responses when a plant grows under a canopy or in the close proximity of vegetation. We have (i) identified novel genetic components regulating the SAS, such as PAR1, HFR1 (BHLH), ATHB4 and HAT3 (HD-ZIP class II); (ii) unraveled that PAR1 and HFR1 act as transcriptional cofactors; (iii) that PAR1 interacts with BIM and BEE factors, the former acting as SAS positive regulators; (iv) found that ATHB4 and its close paralog HAT3 act together to modulate leaf polarity, and (v) that ATHB4 is a DNA-binding protein that acts mainly as a transcriptional repressor. In addition, we have found that the nucleoporine DRACULA2 has a specific role in controlling the early changes in gene expression modulated by shade. Finally, we have also identified Cardamine hirsuta as a close relative Arabidopsis that tolerates (rather avoids) plant proximity.

Main specialization

Scientific Area:
ERC discipline:
  • LS3 Cellular and Developmental Biology
Industrial Leadership:
  • 4. Biotechnology
  • 4.1. Boosting cutting-edge biotechnologies as future innovation drivers
Societal Challenges:
  • 2. Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bioeconomy.
  • 2.2. Sustainable and competitive agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet