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Célia Miguel Lab

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At the Forest Biotech Lab we are studying aspects of forest tree biology which are important to understand and improve characteristic features such as wood and cork formation, or resilience to specific stresses. We are also developing genomic resources and tools to support forest tree research and potential applications.

 

Célia Miguel
Investigadora ITQB NOVA/iBET
Professora Auxiliar FC ULisboa

PhD 1999 in Plant Biotechnology, UL

Phone (+351) 214469627
Extension 1627
cmiguel@itqb.unl.pt

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Research Interests

Forest trees dominate many terrestrial ecosystems and their relevance for social and economic activities is unquestionable. The forest-based sector significantly contributes to the EU’s total manufacturing added value, and provides income and jobs for millions of people. Efficient strategies for improving forest productivity and resilience are required in order to meet the increasing demand for forest products. Yet, tree selection and improvement programs addressing these issues are still incipient or inexistent for many important forest tree species.

At the Forest Biotechnology Lab we are studying aspects of tree biology and biotechnology underlying traits of interest for tree selection, improvement and propagation. Three main research lines are being addressed including (i) the regulation of plant secondary growth, which is at the basis of wood and cork formation, and is responsible for the production of most of the terrestrial plant biomass; (ii) embryogenesis and reproduction in conifers (gymnosperms), for understanding basic molecular mechanisms regulating embryo development, and generating knowledge for the optimization of large-scale clonal propagation of pines; (iii) establishment of tools and resources in tree molecular biology and genomics, for supporting downstream research and applications in breeding. More recently, taking advantage of the developed resources, we have been collaborating with other groups for the characterization of tree responses to specific stresses significantly affecting the Portuguese forests, such as the pine wilt disease caused by the pine wood nematode.

The species we work with include the maritime pine, cork oak, and models such as Populus and Arabidopsis. Our studies at the molecular regulation level, have been mainly targeting transcription factors and small non-coding RNAs as well as their crosstalk to hormones.  

 

 

Group Members

 

  • Sofia Leal, FCT Investigator
  • Inês Chaves, Post-Doc
  • Pedro Jimenez Perdiguero, Marie-Curie Fellow, PhD
  • Cirenia Baldrich, Post-Doc
  • Andreia Rodrigues, PhD Student
  • Andreia Matos, PhD Student
  • Inês Modesto, PhD Student
  • Susana Lopes, PhD Student
  • Bruno Costa, Project Research Fellow (BI)
  • Ana Cristina Alves, Project Research Fellow (BI)
  • Sónia Correia, Master student

 

Selected Publications

  1. Miguel A, Milhinhos A, Novák O, Jones B, Miguel CM (2016) The SHORT-ROOT-like gene PtSHR2B is involved in Populus phellogen activity. Journal of Experimental Botany 67(5): 1545-55. DOI:10.1093/jxb/erv547
    https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/jxb/erv547

  2. Canales J, Bautista R, Label P, Gomez-Maldonado J, Lesur I, Fernández-Pozo N, Rueda-López M, Guerrero-Fernández D, Castro-Rodriguez V, Benzekri H, Canas R, Guevara M-A, Rodrigues A, Seoane P, Teyssier C, Ehrenmann F, Morel A, Le Provost G, Lalanne C, Noirot C, Klopp C, Raymond I, Garcia-Gutierrez A, Trontin J-F, Lelu-Walter M-A, Miguel CM, Cervera MT, Canton F, Plomion C, Harvengt L, Avila C, Claros MG, Canovas F (2014) De novo assembly of maritime pine transcriptome: implications for forest breeding and biotechnology. Plant Biotechnology Journal 12: 286-299. DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12136
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12136/abstract

  3. Milhinhos A, Prestele J, Bollhöner B, Matos A, Vera-Sirera F, Rambla JL, Ljung K, Carbonell J, Blázquez MA, Tuominen H, Miguel CM. (2013) Thermospermine levels are controlled by an auxin-dependent feedback-loop mechanism in Populus xylem. Plant Journal 75:685-698. DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12231
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tpj.12231/abstract


Laboratory's Website

For further information visit the laboratory's website

 

Biotecnologia Florestal (PT)

As árvores florestais representam um recurso de elevado valor económico, ambiental e social. No nosso laboratório investigamos alguns aspectos da biologia do desenvolvimento e biotecnologia com potencial relevância para a valorização de espécies florestais representativas em Portugal. Estamos interessados na caracterização de reguladores moleculares da formação da madeira e da cortiça, e estudamos também o desenvolvimento dos embriões de pinheiro para melhorar a propagação vegetativa (clonagem) desta espécie. Colaboramos ainda com outros grupos para caracterização das respostas das árvores a condições específicas de stress que afectam as florestas portuguesas, tais como a infecção pelo nemátode da madeira do pinheiro. Estamos ainda envolvidos em projectos nacionais e internacionais para o desenvolvimento de ferramentas e recursos úteis para a investigação das árvores florestais e suas aplicações, sendo exemplos disso o  genoma e transcritoma de espécies como o pinheiro bravo e o sobreiro.

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