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Unraveling the effects of UCP1 overexpression during reproduction and upon stability of Group VII ethylene response factor transcription factors

Grant number: 15/24881-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Paulo Arruda
Grantee:Pedro Paulo Augusto Fabiano Arantes Pereira Barreto
Supervisor abroad: Zoe Wilson
Home Institution: Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética (CBMEG). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, England  
Associated to the scholarship:14/17634-5 - Mitochondria as a key element on stress response in plants, BP.PD

Abstract

Mitochondria are the reason eukaryotic cells could arise more than a billion years ago. It is the most ancient and interconnected organelle inside the eukaryote cell, which obligate them to preserve the organelle integrity to stay alive. The mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are among the ~1,000 proteins that compose the mitochondrial architecture and play a key role in securing integrity under stress. We have demonstrated that the constitutive overexpression of UCP1 induces a broad metabolic reconfiguration in the cellular context and makes plants more tolerant to several biotic and abiotic stresses. Despite the observation that UCP1 overexpressors perform better under stress, the impact of this on flower development, an organ that plays key role in plant seed production, is still unknown. Flower formation and in particular pollen development, has a high demand for energy, which is manifest as a major increase in mitochondria number and activity. Defects in mitochondria function result in male sterility, emphasising the importance of the mitochondria during this stage of development. Flowering is also extremely vulnerable to abiotic stress, resulting in sterility or reduced seed set. This project aims to explore the effect of UCP1 and other mitochondrial genes overexpression in Arabidopsis during growth and in response to stressful environments, focusing on oxygen-conditional stability of Group VII Ethylene Response Factor transcription factors, as we recently demonstrated that UCP1 overexpression induces a hypoxic response in tobacco leaves.