Molecular mechanisms underlying arsenic phytoremediation

SCIENTIFIC AREA
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Photosynthetic Organisms
CENTER
Centro Nacional de Biotecnología CSIC (CNB)
VACANCIES
1
CONTACT E-MAIL
aleyva@cnb.csic.es
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER

Molecular mechanisms underlying arsenic phytoremediation

Arsenic was major a challenge for organism survival at the origin of life. Today, groundwater and soil contamination with this methaloid is still a global threat for all organisms including humans. In plants, arsenic tolerance has been a major factor for plant adaptation and distribution and therefore some plant species shows an extraordinary ability to accumulate arsenic thus pointing out the potential of these plants for bioremediation. However some hyperaccumulator species are staple crops such as rice, compromising food safety and quality. To prevent the presence of undesirable level of arsenic in the food chain or to boost selection of efficient hyperaccumulator plants for phytoremediaton strategies it is essential to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying arsenic perception and tolerance. Recently the molecular mechanism involved in plant arsenic tolerance is being study extensively. However most of the proteins studied were identified based on sequence homology with other proteins previously isolated from bacteria and yeast. Genetic approaches to uncover biological relevant arsenic tolerant mechanisms are scarce. Moreover, no any protein involved in arsenic signalling has been isolated. Here we aim to identify regulatory proteins (e.g. transcriptional activators) of the arsenic response using molecular, genetics and in silico approaches. Also the student will be involved in the functional characterization and phytoremediation potential of a new arsenate reductase, identified in the laboratory that contributes for the natural variation for arsenate tolerance. 

MASTER
Biotechnology
EXTRA SUPERVISOR
Cristina Navarro