Deciphering the molecular bases for drought tolerance in polyploid plants

Dr. Elena Ramirez-Parra and Dr. Juan Carlos del Pozo, researchers at the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP), have analyzed molecular mechanisms underlying drought and salt tolerance in autopolyploid plants. The results were recently published in the journal Plant Cell & Environment.


Polyploidy or acquisition of more than two complete sets of chromosomes is a frequent phenomenon in plants. Polyploidy often leads to better adaptation to adverse environmental conditions, which offers clear advantages for plant evolution, and also plays an important role in crop breeding. However, the molecular bases underlying these adaptations are poorly understood. Therefore, one major challenge is to understand the mechanisms that are associated to whole genome duplication, both in allo- and autopolyploidy, at physiological, cellular and molecular levels. This research developed in the CBGP is of great interest because it has helped to shed light on the genetic, genomic and physiological bases associated to whole genome duplication in Arabidopsis and its tolerance to salinity and drought. Furthermore, these studies will explore the direct consequences of polyploidy in the development and adaptability in Arabidopsis and other plant species.