Plant development; Seed development; Dormancy; Germination; Hormones; Abiotic stresses
Seeds of most temperate plant species show different degrees of dormancy and integrate a variety of endogenous and environmental signals to coordinate development and germinate only under favorable conditions. My research interests involve understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the transition from dormancy to germination and the role that hormones play in this processes. We are also interested in understanding the regulation of desiccation tolerance and resistance to abiotic stresses. We use functional genomic, molecular and genetic approaches to identify and characterize key players involved in the regulation of these processes.
The transcription factor FUSCA3 regulates the transition from the embryonic to the vegetative phase of development by regulating the balance of two hormones, ABA and GA, in Arabidopsis. We are currently studying the transcriptional, translational and post-translational regulation of FUSCA3 during seed development and germination in response to hormones and abiotic stresses. We are also studying the patterns of FUS3 localization during embryogenesis and germination using GFP reporters. Lastly, we are characterizing the role of novel FUSCA3-interacting-proteins identified through yeast-two-hybrid screens.