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Proteome Regulation in Plants Lab


The main goal of our research is to characterize post-translational protein modification (PTMs) networks that regulate plant stress responses.



Having reached 7 billion people in October 2011, the world population may still increase by 34% until 2050. With the strong competition for land use (e.g. for biofuel), feeding the expected 9 billion people will necessarily depend on increasing yields per unit area, rather than increasing cropping area. Further adding to this, the erratic climate of the last decade(s) has strong negative impact in crop yield. It is thus urgent to improve crop yield potential by improving photosynthesis and abiotic stress tolerance without negatively affecting key aspects of plant development. The novelty of our approach is to use post-translational modifications (PTMs) as tools to prep the proteome for changes in the environment. 


PRPlants strategy is:

i) to identify new PTMs with functional relevance; 

ii) to study the molecular mechanisms leading to post-translational modifications;

iii) to characterize the effect of PTMs on selected protein targets.

To support our research we also contribute to the development of proteomics-methodology in collaboration with iBET/ITQB-UNL Mass Spectrometry Unit (UniMS).

The translation of our results is done in collaboration with our industrial partners.

Model plants

Our model plants are Oryza sativa (rice), Zea mays (maize), and Arabidopsis thaliana

Among cops, rice, maize and wheat provide approximately half of the total calories consumed worldwide. Rice is crucial for food security of over half of the human population, while maize is the most cultivated plant in the world. Both crops are of extreme importance for global economy and both suffer tremendous yield losses in stress conditions. 

Arabidopsis is the most used model plant.


(Ongoing Research at PRPlants)



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