Carla António Lab
At the Plant Metabolomics Laboratory we use Analytical Chemistry and Mass Spectrometry-based technologies to study the metabolic mechanisms underlying plant responses to adverse environmental conditions.
Phone (+351) 214469634
Global climate change and population growth are two major challenges of the 21st century. Crop losses due to variable weather patterns associated with climate change has risen over the past decades, and climate models predict an increased incidence particularly of floods, droughts, and extreme temperatures. This situation together with the growing food demand is anticipated to pose a real threat to global food security. It is therefore vital to develop strategies to substantially improve food availability in variable environments, and ultimately, transfer this knowledge to farmers in the time frame needed. This has been progressively accomplished through breeding and biotechnology approaches that use innovative methods to develop plants with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance.
Although much progress has been done over the past years in the area of plant abiotic stress, the mechanisms defining plant resilience to variable environments are still not completely understood. One approach to improve our knowledge of plant tolerance to abiotic stress is to reveal the underlying central metabolic pathways (i.e., carbon, nitrogen, and energy metabolism) that play an important role in modulating their growth, development, and stress responses. This information will ultimately provide the knowledge basis to facilitate our understanding of the plant’s flexibility to reconfigure these primary metabolic pathways to sustain cellular homeostasis thereby ensuring their survival in adverse conditions.
At the Plant Metabolomics Laboratory we employ metabolomics workflows grounded on selective metabolite extractions and high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS)-based technologies that combine liquid chromatography and gas chromatography coupled to MS (LC-MS, GC-MS) to provide a comprehensive view of the plant metabolome in response to abiotic/biotic-stress factors. For more detailed information, please visit the Lab Website.
- Carla António, Head of Lab
- Tiago Jorge, PhD student
- Ana Margarida Rodrigues, PhD student
- Ana Ribeiro-Barros, Invited Scientist (ISA/UL)
- Carmina Falcato Cabral, PhD student at Aarhus University (Co-Supervision)
Mata AT, Jorge TF, Ferreira J, Bronze MR, Branco D, Fevereiro P, Araújo S, António C (2016) Analysis of low abundant trehalose-6-phosphate and related metabolites in Medicago truncatula by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography–triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A 1477: 30–38.
Jorge TF, Rodrigues JA, Caldana C, Schmidt R, van Dongen JT, Thomas-Oates J, António C (2016) Mass spectrometry-based plant metabolomics: Metabolite responses to abiotic stress. Mass Spectrom Rev 35: 620-649.
António C, Päpke C, Rocha M, Diab H, Limami AM, Obata T, Fernie AR, van Dongen JT (2016) Regulation of primary metabolism in response to low oxygen availability as revealed by carbon and nitrogen isotope redistribution. Plant Physiol 170: 43-56.
For further information visit the laboratory's website
O Laboratório de Metabolómica de Plantas usa a Química Analítica e a Espectrometria de Massa para estudar os mecanismos metabólicos subjacentes às respostas das plantas a várias perturbações genéticas e/ou ambientais (fatores abióticos/bióticos). Em condições ambientais adversas, a planta responde e adapta-se através de mecanismos regulatórios, tais como alteração do metabolismo celular (e.g., acumulação de solutos compatíveis). A identificação das respostas ao nível metabólico que promovem ou mantêm o crescimento e desenvolvimento das plantas durante condições ambientais adversas é uma componente extremamente importante em aplicações biotecnológicas para o desenvolvimento de variedades de plantas mais tolerantes.