News

Our bachelor students are ready for their final degree project defense

The bachelor students performing their internship at the ANTIOX group are reaching their final stage of their undergraduate program by defending their final degree project (TFG) this July 2021. All projects have been related with the plant ecophysiology research field, but we had a great diversity of exciting themes!

The student Júlia Capellades has studied the impacts of an exotic and potentially invasive species in the high biodiversity area of L’Empordà unraveling its interactions with other native and exotic species. Her TFG is entitled “Study of the impact of Aptenia cordifolia in l’Empordà” and has been developed under the supervision of Dr. Erola Fenollosa and Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch, where she has gained new insights into the impacts of exotic species over native communities.

Our students Patricia Fernández and Ot Pasques developed their final projects under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Morales and Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch. Patricia developed her TFG entitled “Multiple plant species stress responses to different abiotic stresses – A Mediterranean coast and high mountain study“. Ot’s project is entitled “Stress tolerance mechanims of Plantago lanceolata on an altitude gradient at the Pyrinees“. On both projects the students combined field work with laboratory analyses to gain insight on plant’s adaptative mechanisms to multiple abiotic stressors under natural conditions.

Their project defense is taking place at Biology’s Faculty of the University of Barcelona from 12th to 14th July. We wish them the best luck for their defense and their projects ahead!

Invited conference of Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch at the Plant Biology Congress by the SEFV and SPFV

The director of the ANTIOX Team, Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch has been invited to an oral conference at the XXIV Meeting of the Spanish Society of Plant Biology and the XVII Spanish Portuguese Congress on Plant Biology which will be held online from 7 to 9 July 2021 (BP 2021). This conference is organized by both the Spanish Society of Plant Biology (SEFV) and the Portuguese Society of Plant Physiology (SPFV) and the University of Vigo. 

In words of the organizing committe: “BP2021 is a biannual congress which, on its seventh edition, will held 12 scientific sessions that cover several fields related to the functioning of plants and their interaction with other organisms in the ecosystem. Each session will focus not only basic aspects (mineral nutrition, growth and development, phytohormones, short and long distance transport, photosynthesis, etc.) and applied aspects (ecophysiology and plant stress, secondary metabolism, etc.) of plant biology, but also approach the main challenges we, from the study of the plant, face in today’s society (climate change, agricultural production, etc.)”. 

Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch will contribute to the 5th session of Plant stress and ecophysiology with an oral conference entitled: “Bidirectional link between vitamin E and oxylipins in plants: a key to better understanding plant tradeoffs?”. The whole program and schedule of the conference can be found in the BP2021 program. Find also more information and inscriptions here.

 

 

 

 

 

Final degree project defense of three Marine Sciences students

This June 2021, three students of the Marine Sciences Degree at the Geology Faculty: Cris Aldana, Sandra Rasero and Estrella Fernández are defending their Final Degree Project (TFG), which has been developed in the ANTIOX Team, under the supervision of Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch and Andrea Casadesús.

The three students have developed different projects under the research line of Ecophysiology of marine and wetland plants exploring the diversity and stress responses of different marine and wetland plants, which will give more insight on the importance of those very rich ecosystems and understanding their response to stressors such as temperature extremes, which could help us to better understand the limits of these ecosystems and improve our management of vulnerable Mediterranean ecosystems. 

Cris Aldana developed a study entitled “Differences in drought and photo-oxidative stress markers in the Alismatales order”. Estrella Fernández study is entitled “Oxidative stress and Vitamin E function in Cymodocea nodosa under low temperatures”, and Sandra Rasero study is entitled “Tocochromanols in Cymodocea nodosa: effects of high temperatures and inter-individual variability”.

The TFG’s defence will take place in the University of Barcelona the 21th of June at 15h. We wish them the best in this defence and the following projects that this year will bring.

Melanie Morales participates at the 3rd edition of #100científiques event for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Regarding to the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”, our postdoctoral researcher Melanie Morales participates at the 3rd edition of the #100tífiques event on February 11th, 2020. Her talks will be aimed at an audience aged 11-12 years old (6è primary school and 1st secondary School) to share her own experience as a woman scientist in plant biology and, specifically, raise awareness among children about the climate change effects on Antarctic plants.

The #100tífiques is an initiative of the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI) and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), in collaboration with the Department of Education of the Generalitat de Catalunya. The aim of this project is to make visible and highlight the relevance and strategic role of women in science and technology, while encouraging joint actions between academia and business scientists. The program aims to foster a more direct and reciprocal relationship between science and society, and especially to increase the awareness of this group and expand its space.

As a member of our research group, we are enthusiastic to participate in this kind of initiative to promote and divulgate science among the social community, so reach and encourage girls to become super women scientists.

Holoparasitic Plant–Host Interactions – New publication in Plant Physiology

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.

New publication: Hormonal Impact on Photosynthesis and Photoprotection in Plants

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.

Prof. Sergi Munné-Bosch is acknowledged for his research with the ICREA academia prize

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:

PhD Thesis Oral Defence by Marina Pérez-Llorca

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!

Final degree project defense by Lara Fuertes

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.

Our recent graphical review in Redox Biology highlights oxylipins roles in plastidial retrograde signaling

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.

 

Latest collaboration with Dr. Fabio Pasin gives new insights into plant immunity

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 MüllerDavid 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.Figure 1. Transcriptomic Changes in Host Plants Infected with PPV and Its Deletion Mutant P1Pro. Read the publication here.

Melanie Morales joins the Antiox Team as a postdoctoral researcher

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!

Countdown for the thesis read of Erola Fenollosa

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!

Long-lived trees immortality questioned – New publication in TIPS

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.

New publication: “Global gene flow releases invasive plants from environmental constraints on genetic diversity” from PLANTPOPNET Network

We are delighted to announce that the first manuscript from the PLANTPOPNET network has been published this month in PNAS. The article is entitled “Global gene flow releases invasive plants from environmental constraints on genetic diversity” and Annabel L. Smith, the first author of the article, presents worldwide demographic and genetic data of the invasive plant Plantago lanceolata. Within the almost 50-authors list, Sergi Munné-Bosch and Melanie Morales, from the ANTIOX-Ecophys Team, have contributed collecting demographic data within the P. lanceolata native range.

The article is strongly significant not only in plant demography studies but also contributes to understand the dynamics behind biological invasions, as the PLANTPOPNET global dataset of P. lanceolata demography and genetic diversity revealed that long-distance dispersal and repeated introductions by humans have shaped adaptive potential of this invasive species by promoting genetic stock mixing from multiple populations.

Figure 2 from Smith et al. (2020). Global genetic structure in P. lanceolata. Read the article for more details.

The ANTIOX Team contribution to a Science TV Show

The ANTIOX Team contributed to a Science divulgation TV Show where we exposed our current research on the field of alkaloids and herbivoryAndrea casadesús and Sergi Munné-Bosch climbed the Montserrat mountains to show the individuals of Cistus albidus that we are studying and discuss about this nitrogenated molecules role in plant defense.

The report was included in the televisive Show QuèQuiCom in TV3 (the public autonomic television of Catalonia) in a special issue about the Nitrogen history, potentialities and hazards (Click here to watch the complete special issue). Take a look on the ANTIOX contribution:

See here the clip in the official TV3 Webpage.

Dr. Treesubsuntorn visits us in March, don’t miss his talk!

We are delighted to announce that we will be receiving the visit of Dr. Chairat Treesubsuntorn next month. Dr. Treesubsuntorn works as an Assistant Professor at the Pilot Plant Development and Training Institute (PDTI) in Bangkok (Thailand) and will present his lasts results in the field of phytoremediation

During his visit, he will give a talk entitled “Inhibition of cadmium uptake and translocation in Oryza sativa indica by using calcium-acetate and calcium-chloride: Efficiency and possible mechanisms”. The talk will take place at the Faculty of Biology on March 22nd at 12 pm, and is open to everyone interested. 

Take a dive into his publications here.

XV Phytohormones Symposium

The white-leaved rockrose (Cistus albidus) was present in the XV Phytohormones Symposium 2018. This Symposium was held last December 13-14, in Valencia (Spain). Marina Perez-Llorca, PhD Student at the ANTIOX Team, presented her last work on this species with a short talk entitled: “Inter-individual and sun orientation driven variability reveals antagonistic salicylate and jasmonate accumulation in white-leaved rockrose“.

The Symposium was organized by the Spanish Society of Plant Physiology (Sociedad Española de Fisiología Vegetal), which mingles Spanish scientists working on the physiology of plants, with different groups covering molecular and physiological aspects of it. 

 

Save the date: International Conference on Integrative Plant Physiology 2019

 The International Conference on Integrative Plant Physiology by ELSEVIER will be held in Sitges (Spain) from the 27 to 29th of October in 2019 with Sergi Munné-Bosch on the organizing committee. 

This conference will bring together specialists in plant ecology, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology to share and discuss recent advances in plant biology with an emphasis on integrative and system-based approaches.

Save the date and submit your abstracts by 10 May 2019  to participate in the International Conference on Integrative Plant Physiology

New member of the steering committee of PLANTPOPNET

Sergi Munné-Bosch has become a member of the steering committee of the international network PLANTPOPNET – A Spatially Distributed Model System for Population Ecology, directed by Prof. Yvonne Buckley

The aim is to construct a global network that allows us to understand populations shifts in response to global change, starting with Plantago lanceolata as a model system. 

The Antiox-Ecophys Team is collaborating to PLANTPOPNET with an Add-on Study entitled: “Is oxidative stress a proxy for mortality in Plantago lanceolata?” exploring the use of oxidative stress markers to predict the death of the individual. 

Distribution of PLANTPOPNET sites globally (n=53). Grey area is the geographic range of P. lanceolata as per GBIF, BIEN & Petitpierre et al. (2012). Points represent demographic studies in the Non-Native (yellow) and Native (orange) range of P. lanceolata. Genomic data (red) has been recorded at 38 sites. 

 

 

VIII Forest Ecophysiology Meeting in Madrid

Last week part of the antiox-ecophys group attended the VIII Spring Forest Ecophysiology Meeting 2018 in Madrid (Coloquio de primavera sobre ecofisiología forestal). The meeting took place on 25-27 April in the breathtaking forests of Cercedilla (Madrid, Spain).

This event brings together plant ecophysiologists from Spain allowing them to share not only their latest findings but also their thoughts about some controversial issues around the ecology and physiology of the plant kingdom.

In this occasion, two of our PhD Students, Marina Pérez and Erola Fenollosa, presented their work during one of the sessions. Moreover, Sergi Munné-Bosch inspired and led a debate around plant longevity and senescence.

Three-Minute Talk

As a closure of last semester, some of our ANTIOX group members took part in the Three Minute Talk (3MT) competition, held at the Faculty of Biology. Hosted by the department of Evolutive Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences (BEECA), 3MT gathered all the exciting research conducted by the current department constituents who had to effectively present their thesis to the audience in only three minutes.
Representing the ANTIOX group, Marina introduced her research on paraheliotropism of Cistus albidus during daily and seasonal periods. Likewise, Erola presented her study of oxidative biomarkers on Carpobrotus edulis, an invasive plant in the Catalan region. Finally, Paula explained her research on photo-oxidative stress and redox regulation on fruits, commercial flowers and dioecious plants. The public and a special jury constituted by members of all groups from the department could choose which three minute speech was the best and we’re very proud to announce that Erola won the first prize with her creative 3MT about invasive plants.
We hope to keep participating in the upcoming editions!

 

Participation at the EMAPI 14 in Lisbon

From the 4th to the 8th of September 2017, Lisbon hosted the 14th edition of the International Conference on Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions: Synthesis, Challenges and New Opportunities (EMAPI). 

 

One of our PhD Students, Erola Fenollosa assisted and participated in the five days conference with a poster about her work: “High-scale photoprotective markers to assess invasive success“. 

The conference brought together managers, policy makers, senior and junior scientists from around the world that shared their knowledge and points of view in order to find new ways to face the new challenges on invasion studies. 

 

 

Participation at the ASPB Meeting in Honolulu

On June 24-28 2017, Honolulu hosted the Annual Plant Biology Meeting powered by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB)

This international conference met more than 1,500 scientists from different countries, and Alba Cotado from the ANTIOX group was one of them, thanks to the ASPB travel award she received in recognition of her hard work in plant physiology during the last months.

She presented her lasts results on Saxifraga longifolia with a poster and an oral communication entitled “Adaptation mechanisms to high altitude in Saxifraga longifolia, a long-lived monocarpic perennial growing in the Pyrenees“. 

Her work was framed in the Environmental and Ecological Plant Physiology ASPB Section (EEPP).

 

Triple theses defense at the ANTIOX group

Last semester was a busy one as three members of the ANTIOX group: Laura Siles, Javier Miret and Eva Fleta-Soriano defended their PhD thesis at the University of Barcelona.
 
Laura Siles defeat their thesis about biosynthesis, distribution, accumulation, control mechanisms and function of Vitamin E in seeds. Javier Miret thesis was about hormonal and redox regulation of organ senescence processes. The thesis from Eva Fleta-Soriano was about protective mechanisms against reiterated water stress in plants. 
 
We are extremely happy for their success and we hope that they can continue contributing to the knowledge generation as effectively as they did during their PhD. Good luck Doctors!
 

Science Festival at the University of Barcelona

The last 12th of May we celebrated the III Science Festival at the University of Barcelona, a party that aims to encourage scholars to be interested on different science fields. This event bridges the university’s investigators not only with schools but also to general public interested on Science.

From the Plant Physiology department, our group participated with different activities about the importance of transpiration on crop growth, the influence of seed propagation strategies on plant distribution, and the technique of in vitro culture

Participation on the first Photosynthesis Workshop

In May 2017 (from 9th to 11st), Pamplona (Spain) hosted the first Photosynthesis Workshop, organized by the Abgrobiotechnology Institute (IdAB), where we  have participated with an oral presentation of Erola Fenollosa.  

The meeting was dedicated to present and discuss the state of the art of the different equips, techniques, estimations and calculations to obtain valuable Gas exchange data.

The workshop aimed to provide the latest up to date information on the issue, and therefore, the newest models of different equips from different companies were presented:

 

Global Change threatens high-mountain plants

Saxifraga longifoliaThe University of Barcelona has recently published a short report about our publication in Plant Physiology: Adaptation of the Long-Lived Monocarpic Perennial Saxifraga longifolia to High Altitude.

This report highlights how the climate change could be threatening high-mountain plant species such as Saxifraga longifolia. It also talks about the importance to understand the cold adaptation mechanisms to understand and predict niche shifts due to global warming.

http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2016/11/039.html?

 

 

Short television report about our work on invasive plants

The Local Television from Barcelona (BTV) has shoot a short report about our work on invasive plants, specifically about Carpobrotus edulis. In this short report Dr. Munné-Bosch talks about the strengths of this species and alerts the risk of its spread due to gardening. 

 

Divulgation by the Natural Park of El Garraf

fpls-07-01116-g001Our recent publication in Frontiers of Plant Science by Melanie Morales has been highlighted by the Natural Park of El Garraf, where the study was performed. The studied species, Chamaerops humilis, is especially symbolic for the Park.

http://parcs.diba.cat/web/l-informatiu/-/garraf-resultats-de-l-estudi-que-la-universitat-de-barcelona-realitza-sobre-el-margallo-al-parc-del-garraf