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Mitochondrial dicarboxylate carriers and mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCP) as targets for improving plant tolerance to abiotic stress

Abstract

Mitochondrial transporters are involved in the exchange of metabolites and intermediates between mitochondria and cellular cytoplasm. Due to their known participation in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis and in plant response to environmental stresses, these transporters have attracted interest of plant biologists. The present project will focus on dicarboxylate transporters (DICs), whose function is still little studied, and uncoupling mitochondrial proteins (UCPs), known to be important modulators of the redox state. Our working hypothesis is that a better understanding of the in planta functions of these transporters will assist future approaches that aim to manipulate these genes for the acquisition of tolerance to abiotic stresses. Different approaches will be used to investigate the role and relevance of these transporters on mitochondrial metabolism and stress tolerance mechanisms of Arabidopsis thaliana. It is expected that the generated data will provide subsidies to better understand the respective in planta functions of the said proteins and demonstrate the physiological relevance of each of them in the acquisition of stress tolerance. (AU)

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