MOLECULAR BASES OF PLANT DEVELOPMENTAL PHASE TRANSITIONS
Plant Developmental Biology
Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaría (INIA)
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER
During their life cycle plants undergo a number of developmental phases, including embryonic, vegetative and reproductive development. These developmental stages are characterised by specific patterns of cellular differentiation. The switch from a developmental phase to the next is under the control of spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression, so that selective activation or silencing of genes directs plant development through different phase changes. Our group is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of plant developmental transitions. In particular we are interested in phase transitions such as flowering and germination with adaptive value for plant species as well as a significant impact on crop yield.
The floral transition marks the opening of the reproductive development and the timing of this developmental switch is essential to determine the reproductive success of plant species. For that reason plants tune very precisely the time of flowering initiation in response to both endogenous and environmental factors, ensuring that the production of flowers and fruits take place under optimal conditions. Using the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, and related Brassicaceae species, we are focused on studying the mechanisms that work to repress flowering until plants reach a particular developmental stage or are under optimal environmental conditions.