Group Leader: Mariano Perales - Assistant Professor

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Plant development must be coordinated with the environment to optimize growth and survival. We investigate how the photoperiod and the temperature control plant axillary and apical shoot growth. We are interested to identify new signal transduction pathways and transcription regulatory networks potential targets for biotechnological application in crops.

Signal transduction pathways in response to the environmental cues

Plants continued sense the environment modulating growth and development. Photoperiod provides reliable information for seasonal growth regulation. When day length fall bellow a certain threshold, poplars cease growth. Levels of Flowering Locus T (FT) has been shown to be necessary for the photoperiodic control of shoot apical growth. We found that FT mRNA levels quantitatively response to night length (Fig.1a and b). Trough molecular genetics and genomics, we are investigating the signal transduction pathway that transmits night length information to FT, which is critical for poplar trees survival.

Figure 1. (a) Relative FT mRNA levels in response to night extension. (b) Relative FT mRNA levels in response to night advance. (c) Clustering analysis poplar transcription affected by long days (LD) and night extension treatment (NE). (d) Clusters showing common responsive transcripts in LD and NE.

Identification of new seasonal regulators of axillary and apical shoot growth in poplar

Seasonal control of shoot axillary and apical bud outgrowth in woody species require specific genetic programs integrated to the environmental signals. This trait has direct influence in plant shoot architecture and it is positively correlated with high biomass yields in poplar plantations. Earlier work has shown that overexpression of the circadian RAV1 transcription factor in poplar exhibits dormant axillary bud outgrowth or syllepsis without any visible impairment of wood anatomy. Our goal is to decipher the regulatory principles of dormancy eluding and the seasonal control of axillary and apical shoot development through the understanding of the gene network of the circadian gene RAV1 in poplar.

Figure 2. (a) Confocal images showing the subcellular localization of GR:EGFP:RAV1 construct in poplars treated with dexamethasone (DEX) and control (MOCK). (b) Flow chart showing the strategy to discover the RAV1 target gene network.

  • AGL2014-53352-R Desarrollo de herramientas geneticas para modular los ciclos de dormancia-crecimiento en especies leñosas MECYT 2015-2018
  • PCIG13-GA-2013-631630 Underpinning the significance of circadian clock winter disruption in Poplar FFP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG-European Commission
  • RYC-2012-10194 Ramón y Cajal programme of MINECO

Representative Publications

Gómez-Soto, D., Ramos-Sánchez, J.M., Alique, D., Conde, D., Triozzi, P.M., Perales, M., Allona, I. 2021. Overexpression of a SOC1-Related Gene Promotes Bud Break in Ecodormant Poplars. Frontiers in Plant Science 12. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.670497

Ramos-Sánchez, J.M., Triozzi, P.M., Alique, D., Geng, F., Gao, M., Jaeger, K.E., Wigge, P.A., Allona, I., Perales, M. 2019. LHY2 Integrates Night-Length Information to Determine Timing of Poplar Photoperiodic Growth. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.003

Conde, D., Perales, M., Sreedasyam, A., Tuskan, G.A., Lloret, A., Badenes, M.L., González-Melendi, P., Ríos, G., Allona, I. 2019. Engineering Tree Seasonal Cycles of Growth Through Chromatin Modification. Frontiers in Plant Science 10. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00412

Maurya, J.P., Triozzi, P.M., Bhalerao, R.P., Perales, M. 2018. Environmentally Sensitive Molecular Switches Drive Poplar Phenology. Frontiers in Plant Science 9, 1873. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01873

Maurya, J.P., Triozzi, P.M., Bhalerao, R.P., Perales, M. 2018. Environmentally Sensitive Molecular Switches Drive Poplar Phenology. Frontiers in Plant Science 9. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01873

Triozzi, PM; Ramos-Sánchez, JM; Hernández-Verdeja, T; Moreno-Cortés, A; Allona, I; Perales, M. 2018. "Photoperiodic regulation of shoot apical growth in poplar". Frontiers in Plant Science. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01030".

Snipes, SA; Rodriguez, K; DeVries, AE; Miyawaki, KN; Perales, M; Xie, M; Reddy, GV. 2018. "Cytokinin stabilizes WUSCHEL by acting on the protein domains required for nuclear enrichment and transcription". PLoS Genetics. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007351".

Conde, D; Moreno-Cortés, A; Dervinis, C; Ramos-Sánchez, JM; Kirst, M; Perales, M; González-Melendi, P; Allona, I. 2017. "Overexpression of DEMETER, a DNA demethylase, promotes early apical bud maturation in poplar". Plant, Cell & Environment. DOI: 10.1111/pce.13056".

Conde, D; Le Gac, A-L; Perales, M; Dervinis, C; Kirst, M; Maury, S; González-Melendi, P; Allona, I. 2017. "Chilling responsive DEMETER-LIKE DNA demethylase mediates in poplar bud break". Plant, Cell & Environment. DOI: 10.1111/pce.13019".

Ramos-Sánchez, JM; Triozzi, PM; Moreno-Cortés, A; Conde, D; Perales, M; Allona, I. 2017. "Real-time monitoring of PtaHMGB activity in poplar transactivation assays". Plant Methods. DOI: 10.1186/s13007-017-0199-x".

Rodriguez, K; Perales, M; Snipes, S; Yadav, RK; Diaz-Mendoza, M; Reddy, GV. 2016. "DNA-dependent homodimerization, sub-cellular partitioning, and protein destabilization control WUSCHEL levels and spatial patterning". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1607673113".

Perales, M; Rodriguez, K; Snipes, S; Yadav, RK; Diaz-Mendoza, M; Reddy, GV. 2016. "Threshold-dependent transcriptional discrimination underlies stem cell homeostasis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1607669113".

Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas UPM – INIA Parque Científico y Tecnológico de la U.P.M. Campus de Montegancedo
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