Mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCP) are specialized proteins involved in mitochondrial transport, which are able to dissipate the proton electrochemical gradient generated by the respiration in the form of heat. These proteins are part of the mitochondrial anionic carrier family and they play a key role in the maintenance of mitochondrial function, being dependent on fatty acids and sensitive to purine nucleotides. In plants, their importance as a component of cell tolerance to oxidative stress has been shown in previous studies performed both in vitro and in vivo. Three genes encoding UCP have been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana (named AtUCP1-3), but to date, relevant functional data was only obtained for AtUCP1. Therefore, the role and physiological relevance of the other isoforms stills obscure. This study intends to take the phenotypic evaluation and functional redundancy of double mutants in different gene combinations (atucp1/atucp2, atucp1/atucp3 e atucp2/atucp3). For that, double mutants will be identified and phenotypically analyzed. In parallel, the overall expression and metabolite profiles of these double mutants, as well as transcriptome sequencing of atucp2 and atucp3 single mutants using RNA-Seq will be determined (under normal conditions and under stress) and compared with the data obtained for the previously characterized atucp1 mutant. The data to be generated will provide crucial information to improve our understanding of the respective roles of these proteins in plants aiming future applications.
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