Andrea Casadesús and Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch have recently contributed to impact and ecophysiology of holoparasitic plants in Mediterranean agroecosystems. This month, the article “Holoparasitic Plant–Host Interactions and their Impact on Mediterranean Ecosystems” by the two authors has been published in Plant Physiology. This review highlights how improving our knowledge of holoparasitic–host interactions in Mediterranean-type ecosystems will help us to better manage parasitic plants, both in agricultural and natural ecosystems.
Moreover, the PhD Student at the ANTIOX Research Team Andrea Casadesús, first author of this article, has been recognized by the Plantae community, where she exposed brief bio and the origins of her interest in plant physiology.
This January a new review article from the ANTIOX Team has been published in Plant Physiology. This first new year article is entitled Hormonal Impact on Photosynthesis and Photoprotection in Plants. Through multiple tables and very illustrative figures, this review presents the current knowledge on this issue and highlights the role of hormonal crosstalk in regulating multiple functions beyond stomatal closure, including redox signalling under optimal and stressful conditions.
It has been written by the two members of the ANTIOX Team Dr. Maren Müller and Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch. Over more than a decade, our group has developed and improved a rapid and sensitive UPLC/ESI-MS/MS method to the simultaneous quantification of all known phytohormone classes, including: cytokinins, auxins, ethylene, gibberellins, abscisic acid, brassinosteroids, jasmonates, salicylic acid, and strigolactones.
Dr. Maren Müller is currently leading the research line from the ANTIOX Team of Interaction profiling of phytohormones, that focuses on the interaction and profiling of phytohormones to gain new insights into their function as signalling molecules regulating plant physiology, development and adaptation to environmental stimuli.
The ANTIOX team is thrilled to announce that our principal investigator Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch has been awarded with the ICREA Academia prize for his research career. The Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) acknowledges with this prize researchers in the public system of Catalan universities performing outstanding research with the objective to keep this talent in Catalonia by funding 5 years of research. Our principal investigator Prof. Sergi Munné Bosch has been one of the selected researchers, along with 17 men and 12 women in the research areas of experimental sciences and mathematics, technology and engineering, life sciences and medicine, human and social sciences and behaviour (press release here). This award allows Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch and the ANTIOX team to grow and develop further research in the areas of plant ecophysiology and agri-food biotechnology.
We also want to acknowledge the team effort for obtaining this prize by posting the ANTIOX group photos of the latest years:
Our member of the Antiox-Ecophys group Marina Pérez-Llorca is reading her thesis entitled ‘Structural and physiological mechanisms underlying abiotic stress tolerance in the Mediterranean shrub Cistus albidus L.‘. Her thesis has been focused on the protective mechanisms a Mediterranean shrub has to withstand environmental stress, and has been supervised by the Antiox Team members Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch and Dr. Maren Müller.
The thesis read will be held in our Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona the next Febrary 10, accompanied by a livestream. Do not heasitate to contact our research group to follow the PhD defence in streaming video.
Don’t miss it out!
This January 2021, Lara Fuertes is defending her Final degree project (TFG), which has been developed under the supervision of Dr. Marta Pintó-Marijuan (from the ANTIOX Team at the Universitat de Barcelona) and Dr. Aaron Pérez (from the Universitat de Vic), and in collaboration with the CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals).
Lara is studying Biology at the University of Vic and her TFG focuses on the physiological response of twelve Mediterranean species to drought stress and its recovery, including the comparison of a first and second stress period to evaluate the existence of memory processes. The results she has obtained will allow the definition of which species can tolerate drought stress and show a higher recovery capacity, but also describes the existence of physiological memory in some species, which will undoubtably contribute to a better understanding of the recurrent drought adaptation.
Lara’s TFG defence will take place in the Universitat de Vic the 29th of January at 9.45h. We wish her the best in this defence and the following projects that this year will bring.
Chloroplasts are important hubs for the integration of developmental and stress signals in plant cells, but mechanisms related to reception and transmission of these signals are still poorly understood. In this context, the international journal Redox Biology has recently published a graphical review article entitled Oxylipins in plastidial retrograde signaling by our ANTIOX members Dr. Paula Muñoz and Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch, where they highlight the relevant role of these compounds derived from the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in plastidial retrograde signaling to highlight future avenues for research.
In the mentioned review, our ANTIOX members emphasize plastid diversity regarding developmental stage, plant organ or stressful conditions, where the production of oxylipins might be affected and become intermediate signals or hormonal elicitors to facilitate acclimation or developmental responses. The review article also describes the latest knowledge related to signal transduction of reactive electrophilic species as secondary lipid peroxidation products which have been long overlooked when describing oxylipin-related signal transduction and the problems associated with the study and interpretation of the production of these molecules in plant cells.
The recent collaboration with Dr. Fabio Pasin has resulted in a new publication this September 2020 in Plant Communications with the contribution of three members of the ANTIOX Team: Dr. Maren Müller, David H. Fresno and Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch.
The publication is entitled “Abscisic Acid Connects Phytohormone Signaling with RNA Metabolic Pathways and Promotes an Antiviral Response that Is Evaded by a Self-Controlled RNA Virus” and shows that abscisic acid is an active player in plant immunity to plant pathogenic viruses of the genus Potyviridae by affecting host RNA metabolism. These findings shed a light on the importance of this phytohormone in plant responses to viruses, whose role in this type of immunity had been overlooked until now.
Figure 1. Transcriptomic Changes in Host Plants Infected with PPV and Its Deletion Mutant P1Pro. Read the publication here.
This August we received the postdoctoral researcher Dr. Melanie Morales in the Antiox-Ecophys research Team. She has been awarded with the 3-year postdoctoral fellowship Beatriu de Pinós Research Program funded by the European Commission in the H2020 and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) framework. This grant is coordinated by the Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca in Catalonia, Spain.
This fellowship allowed her to rejoin the ANTIOX Ecophys group this year, in which she developed her Ph.D. in Plant Biology (2012-2015), and where she will be leading from now on the 2-research lines from the ANTIOX Ecophys Group: Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Sexual Dimorphism.
It is for us a great pleasure to welcome such great researcher and old friend in our group. Welcome back Dr. Morales!
Our member of the Antiox-Ecophys group Erola Fenollosa is reading her thesis entitled ‘Stress, reproduction and senescence for invasive success: the study case of Carpobrotus edulis’.
The thesis read will be held in our Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona the next 9 of September in coordination with a livestreming. Do not heasitate to contact our research group to follow the PhD defense in streaming video.
Don’t miss it out!
Sergi Munné-Bosch has recently contributed to the immortal debate of eternal living. This month, the forum article “Long-Lived Trees Are Not Immortal” by Sergi Munné-Bosch has been published in Trends in Plant Science. This article is a response to the article published this January by Li Wang et al. in PNAS and points out that although long-lived trees may have long lives, they are also subjected to physiological limits that constrain their immortality, and in the end they all will die.
The article has been highly supported by the media worldwide besides the University of Barcelona News and has been included in different prestigious newspapers such as The New York Times in USA, Daily Mail and Telegraph in UK and La Vanguardia in Spain.