The research activity of our group focuses on the identification of the genetic-molecular mechanisms that regulates the development of ovules and seeds. We are especially interested in two aspects: the determination of the number of ovules, and therefore the number of seeds, and the control of seed size.
The formation of ovules and seeds is an essential process in plants as it ensures their correct reproduction, besides having a great economic importance to directly affect the production of crops. It is important to emphasize that the nutrition of humans and livestock is based mostly on the calories derived from seeds, particularly cereals and legumes. Revealing the gene networks that control the number and size of seeds will allow us to develop new strategies for crop breeding, without forgetting, on the other hand, that the initiation and morphogenesis of the ovules constitutes an excellent model system for the generation of knowledge in the area of plant development.
The number and size of the seeds is determined by a complex gene network involving numerous transcriptional factors regulated by the hormonal signaling pathways of brassinosteroids, auxins and cytokines.
Data obtained by our group point to gibberellins as a new key regulator, through the action of DELLA proteins, in the determination of the number of ova and seeds in Arabidopsis and in species of agronomic interest such as tomato and rapeseed, as well as the size of the seeds. Currently, our work focuses mainly on unraveling which genes regulated by the DELLA proteins are involved in these processes. To tackle this task we use a combination of techniques of molecular genetics, genomics, biochemistry and microscopy.
Lines of investigation:
1. Identification of the transcriptional factors (FT) that interact with the DELLA proteins during the development of ovules in Arabidopsis, and subsequent identification and description of the direct targets of the DELLA-FTs module in the placenta, ultimately responsible for the formation of ovules
2. Study of the gene pathways that determine the larger seed size of some Arabidopsis della mutants.
3. Characterization of the genetic and molecular interaction of gibberellins and brassinosteroids in the formation of ovules in tomato, studying the regulation of gibberellin metabolism by brassinosteroids and identifying the target genes of DELLA activity. Special attention will be paid to those processes that diverge from those in Arabidopsis.
4. Evolutionary study of ovule development, analyzing the changes in their morphology from the basal angiosperms to the more recent angiosperms.
Brumos J, Zhao C, Gong Y, Soriano D, Patel AP, PEREZ-AMADOR MA, Stepanova AN, Alonso JM (2019)An improved recombineering toolset for plantsPlant Cell. https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00431
Gomez MD, Fuster-Almunia C; Ocaña-Cuesta J, Alonso JM, Perez-Amador MA (2019)RGL2 controls flower development, ovule number and fertility in ArabidopsisArabidopsis. Plant Sci 281: 82-92
Alvarez-Ponce D, Ruiz-González MX, Vera-Sirera F, Feyertag F, Perez-Amador MA, Fares MA (2018)Arabidopsis Heat Stress-Induced Proteins Are Enriched in Electrostatically Charged Amino Acids and Intrinsically Disordered RegionsInt J Mol Sci 19: E2276
Gomez MD, Barro-Trastoy D, Escoms E, Saura-Sánchez M, Sánchez I, Briones-Moreno A, Vera-Sirera F, Carrera E, Ripoll JJ, Yanofsky MF, Lopez-Diaz I, Alonso JM, , Perez-Amador MA (2018)Gibberellins negatively modulate ovule number in plantsDevelopment 145, dev163865
Merelo P, Agustí J, Arbona V, Costa ML, Estornell LH, Gómez-Cadenas A, Coimbra S, Gómez MD, Pérez-Amador MA, Talón M, Tadeo FR (2017)Cell wall remodeling in abscission zone cells during ethylene-promoted fruit abscission in citrusFront Plant Sci 8: 126
Reig C, Gil-Muñoz F, Vera-Sirera F, García-Lorca A, Martínez-Fuentes A, Mesejo C, Pérez-Amador MA, Agustí M (2017)Bud sprouting and floral induction and expression of FT in loquat [Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) LindlPlanta 246:915-925
Gimeno-Ferrer F, Pastor-Cantizano N, Bernart-Silvestre C, Selvi-Martinez P, Vera-Sirera F, Gao C, Perez-Amador MA, Jiang L, Aniento F, Marcote MJ (2016)Alpha2-COP is involved in early secretory traffic in Arabidopsis and is required for plant growth. J Exp Bot 68: 391-401
Gomez MD, Ventimilla D, Sacristan R, Perez-Amador MA (2016)Gibberellins regulate ovule integument development by interfering with the transcription factor ATSPlant Physiol 172: 2403-2415
Leida C, Dal Rí A, Dalla Costa L, Gomez MD, Pompili V, Sonego P, Engelen K, Masuero D, Ríos G, Moser C (2016)Insights into the Role of the Berry-Specific Ethylene Responsive Factor VviERF045Front Plant Sci 7: 1793