Plant Molecular Biology

Pablo D. Cerdán - Fundación Instituto Leloir


  Just as we have photoreceptors in the eyes that we have to see, plants have several families of photoreceptors that give them the sensation and intensity of the light that reaches them, a measure of the presence of neighboring plants, as well as the length of the Days, which allows them to anticipate the arrival of winter and spring. Also, the plants can perceive the temperature. In our laboratory, we try to understand how plants perceive environmental variables such as light and temperature and how they act accordingly, modulating their development. Consider that our studies are important both to develop strategies to improve crops, and to advance in the understanding of the most basic mechanisms that are usually common to the organisms that inhabit the earth.    
Question that you try to answer What are the molecular mechanisms that allow plants to regulate flowering in response to ambient light and temperature?   Methodology used Our study model is a small plant called Arabidopsis thaliana. It is an ideal plant for genetic experiments for several reasons: it is easy to grow a very large number of plants on small surfaces, its life cycle is short and it is self-governing. Arabidopsis is a plant with long days and blooms in the spring, when the photoperiod lengthens. Some genotypes of Arabidopsis require prolonged exposure to cold, which "ensure" winter to pass before flowering in the spring. How do plants stop "measuring" the light that reaches them and the temperature at which they are exposed? How do they modify their development program based on the information obtained? To try to understand the process, we use genetic and biochemical approaches. As for the genetic approaches, we look for mutants affected in the induction of flowering, with the idea of ​​finding which are the genes involved in the process. When we find these genes, the biochemical approaches allow us to study which are the mechanisms that underlie their function. We try to understand if its operation is altered by light or temperature and which are the components that act "downstream". The biochemical approaches also allow us to identify which other proteins act in the same process and, little by little, to build a kind of map where we try to locate each component with its specific role.   Achievements Regarding the response to temperature, we show that there are at least two genetically separable pathways that regulate flowering in response to moderately low temperatures. Regarding the responses to light, we produce plants without phytochromes, which are the photoreceptors of red and distant red light. These plants can not continue their development in red light, which indicates that the source of information provided by the light is strictly necessary for the development of the plants.    

Christian Lorenzo, Pedro Gagliardi, Mariana Antonietti, Maximiliano Sánchez-Lamas, Estefania Mancini, Carlos Dezar, Martin Vazquez, Gerónimo Watson, Marcelo Yanovsky, Pablo Cerdán. Improvement of alfalfa forage quality and management through the downregulation of MsFTa1. Plant Biotechnology Journal. (2019)

Christian D. Lorenzo, Javier Alonso Iserte, Maximiliano Sanchez-Lamas, Mariana Sofia Antonietti, Pedro Garcia Gagliardi, Carlos E. Hernando, Carlos Alberto A. Dezar, Martin Vazquez, Jorge J. Casal, Marcelo J. Yanovsky, Pablo D. Cerdán. Shade delays flowering in Medicago sativa. Plant Journal, 2019.

Aime Jaskolowski, Sabrina Iñigo, Sofía M. Arellano, Leonardo A. Arias, Diego F. Fiol, Ana R. Sede, María B. Oldra, Hernán Lorenzi, Jorge P. Muschietti, Gabriela C. Pagnussat, Pablo D. Cerdán. The MED30 subunit of mediator complex is essential for early plant development and promotes flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana. Development, 2019.

Juan Cagnola, Pablo Cerdan, Manuel Pacín, Andrea Andrade, Verónica Rodriguez, Matías Zurbriggen, Martina Legris, Sabrina Buchovsky, Néstor Carrillo, Joanne Chory, Miguel Blázquez, Davil Alabadi y Jorge Casal.  Long-day photoperiod enhances jasmonic acid-related plant defense. Plant Physiology. 2018 vol. 178 p. 163 - 173

Laura Luccioni, Martín Krzymuski, Maximiliano Sánchez-Lamas, Elizabeth Karayekov, Pablo Cerdán y Jorge Casal. Constans delays Arabidopsis flowering under short days. Plant Journal. 2018

Maximiliano Sánchez-Lamas, Christian Lorenzo y Pablo Cerdán. Bottom-up Assembly of the Phytochrome Network. Plos Genetics. 2016 vol. 12

Francisco Iglesias y Pablo Cerdán. Maintaining Epigenetic Inheritance During DNA Replication in Plants. Frontiers in plant science. Año: 2016 vol. 7 p. 1 - 8

Christian Lorenzo, Maximiliano Sanchez-Lamas, Mariana Antonietti y Pablo Cerdán. Emerging Hubs in Plant Light and Temperature Signaling. Photochemistry and Photobiology. Año: 2016 vol. 92 p. 3 - 13

Estefania Mancini, Sabrina Sanchez, Andrés Romanowski, R. Gustavo Schlaen, Maximiliano Sanchez-Lamas, Pablo Cerdan y Marcelo Yanovsky. Acute Effects of Light on Alternative Splicing in Light-Grown Plants. Photochemistry and Photobiology. Año: 2016 vol. 92 p. 126 - 133

Francisco Iglesias, Natalia Bruera, Sebastián Dergan-Dylon, Cristina Marino-Buslje, Hernán Lorenzi, Julieta Mateos, Franziska Turck, George Coupland y Pablo Cerdán. The Arabidopsis DNA Polymerase δ Has a Role in the Deposition of Transcriptionally Active Epigenetic Marks, Development and Flowering. Plos Genetics. Año: 2015 vol. 11 p. 1 - 25

Verónica Arana, Maximiliano Sánchez Lamas, Bárbara Strasser, Silvia Ibarra, Pablo Cerd´na, Javier Botto y Rodolfo Sánchez. Functional diversity of phytochrome family in the control of light and gibberellin-mediated germination in Arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany. Año: 2014 vol. 37 p. 2014 - 2023

Martín Krzymuski, Pablo Cerdan; Ling,Zhu, Amanda Vinh, Joanne Chory, Enamul Huq y Jorge Casal. Phytochrome A antagonises PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 1 to prevent over-activation of photomorphogenesis. Molecular Plant. Año: 2014 vol. 7 p. 1415 - 1428.

Pablo D. Cerdán
Head of Laboratory -

Gabriela Authier
Research Assistant

Christian Damián Lorenzo
Postdoctoral fellow

María Belén Oldrá
PhD Fellow

Santiago Nicolás Freytes
PhD Fellow

Mauro Ezequiel Hoijemberg
PhD Fellow - ANPCyT

Pedro García Gagliardi
Undergraduate Student

Ailen Authier
Undergraduate Student