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Transition from juvenile to reproductive phases in Passiflora organensis (Passifloraceae, Decaloba)

Grant number: 18/12853-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Adriana Pinheiro Martinelli
Grantee:Tatiana de Souza Moraes
Supervisor abroad: Richard Geerhard Herman Immink
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Wageningen University, Netherlands  
Associated to the scholarship:15/25633-1 - Transition from juvenile to reproductive phases in Passiflora organensis (Passifloraceae, Decaloba), BP.DR

Abstract

Studies on protein-protein interactions can bring clues about protein's function and the molecular mechanism underlying this activity. The yeast twohybrid assay is a powerful method to unravel and identify the composition of protein complexes. The FT/TFL1 proteins are members of the PEBP family and need to interact with specific transcription factors (TFs) in order to perform their biological functions in developmental phase transitions. The basic region/leucine zipper (bZIP) and the Teosinte branched1/Cycloidea/Proliferating cell factor (TCP) TF families, which contain key players of plant development, are two families of TF genes encoding proteins that form unique complexes with FT/TFL1 family proteins. In angiosperms, FT/TFL1 family genes have been shown to function both as promoters and suppressors of flowering, to control plant architecture and seed germination. Moreover, many members of the FT/TFL1 gene family act as key regulators in the juvenile to reproductive phase transition. We are interested in uncovering the molecular mechanisms involved in the juvenile to reproductive phase transition in Passiflora organensis, a small herbaceous vine, with a genome of approximately 210 Mbp. During the first part of the doctorate program we identified FT/TFL1 ortologue genes in Passiflora organensis and analyzed their expression patterns. The objective of this studyabroad research project is to validate the activity of the proteins encoded by the genes belonging to the Passiflora FT/TFL1 family by analyzing protein-protein interactions among the proteins encoded by the bZIP and TCP gene families. The results of this research are fundamental to complete the FT/TFL1 gene activity characterization in Passiflora organensis and to select the right members of this family to focus on in future research and for applications. (AU)