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[SCAN] Decoding the barriers from the cork oak genome: the role of stress in peridermis development

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Pedro Barros, GPlants Lab

When 09 Jan, 2019 from
12:00 pm to 01:00 pm
Where Auditorium
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Title: Decoding the barriers from the cork oak genome: the role of stress in peridermis development

Speaker: Pedro Barros

Affiliation: Plant funcional Genomics Lab, GPlants Unit, ITQB NOVA

 

Abstract:

Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) forests are unique and emblematic resources for Portugal, with high economical, ecological and social significance. Cork oak occupies 23% of the total portuguese forest area and Portugal is the world leader in cork production and exportation. One major bottleneck towards sustainability of cork industry is the time required for the first cork extraction. Thus, many cork and industrial producers seek better agronomic practices in order to accelerate cork oak growth, reducing the time required for the first cork harvest. These practices include establishment of specialized plantations, with controlled irrigation, in contrast to traditional ecosystems. Although intensification methods seem attractive, there is still little knowledge to predict on a slow-growing tree like cork oak, the result of these practices on cork properties and quality.

One research line of the Plant Functional Genomics Lab aims to develop fundamental knowledge to understand the role of environmental stress in cork development through the regulation of suberin metabolism. We have shown that osmotic stress modulates suberin biosynthetic genes and increases suberin deposition in peridermis (precursor of the cork). A more detailed analysis is underway to describe the effect of stress in suberin monomeric composition and its implications on cork physical properties. We further aim to develop tools to select and propagate elite genotypes, more productive or more adapted to specific environments.

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