This team aims to decipher mechanisms that govern gynoecium, seed and fruit development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and to translate this information into key crops of agronomic interest. Our main interests in this field are:
– Communication mechanisms between seed compartments and seed-fruit crosstalk. We study multiple aspects: ROS signalling, hormonal pathways, transcriptional and epigenetic regulation, and genomic imprinting.
– Mechanics of morphogenesis in reproductive structures in plants. Using a combination of biophysical and modelling approaches in collaboration with the physics team (Prof. Mantegazza lab-Univ. Milano Biccoca, Italy) we are studying how mechanical signalling is regulated within different developing plant organs.
– Reproductive barriers in Arabidopsis thaliana. We study mechanisms underlying the formation of polyploid plants and their consequences for plant evolution. We are interested in understanding the hybridization process and the mechanisms that establish interploidy hybridization barriers (the triploid block), the parental conflict and speciation mechanisms. We use Arabidopsis thaliana accessions as a model system. We collaborate in this project with Prof. Spillane, Galway University, Ireland.
-Hormonal regulation of the development of reproductive structures. In collaboration with lab of Prof. Stefan de Folter and Nayelli Marsch-Martinez CINVESTAV institute of Irapuato, Mexico; Prof. Ondrej Novàk of Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic.