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Nelson Saibo Lab

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In the Plant Gene Regulation Laboratory we use model and crop plants to study gene regulatory mechanisms underlying plant growth and plant responses to adverse environmental conditions.

Nelson Saibo
Investigador Principal
PhD in Science: Biotechnology, 2003, Ghent University (Belgium)

Phone (+351) 214469644
Extension 1644
saibo@itqb.unl.pt

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Research Interests

Global climate changes and a fast growing world population require higher crop production even under adverse environmental conditions. To achieve this goal, we need plants with improved tolerance to abiotic stress and/or increased photosynthesis efficiency. Since these traits of high agronomic impact are both highly regulated at the transcriptional level, it is crucial to better understand their gene regulatory mechanisms. Using rice as a model to study abiotic stress responses in cereal crops and maize as a highly efficient photosynthetic plant (C4 mechanism ), we have been working on the identification and functional characterization of master transcription factors regulating key genes in abiotic stress responses and photosynthesis performance, associated cis- regulatory elements, and related epigenetic modifications (histone & DNA modifications). We are also interested in studying the function of the small RNAs involved in these mechanisms as well as the function of other key players in the signaling pathways associated with abiotic stress responses and photosynthesis performance. The integrative approach we are using will contribute to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying plant responses to both environmental and developmental cues. The ultimate goal of our research is to identify key players critical to address crop improvement.

 

Group Members

 

  • André Cordeiro, Post Doc
  • Inês Chaves, Post Doc
  • Joana Rodrigues, PhD student
  • Luis Andrade, PhD student
  • Jorge Comas, PhD student (co-supervisor)
  • Pedro Carvalho, PhD student
  • Fredilson Melo, PhD student
  • Gonçalo Elias da Silva, PhD student
  • João Costa, Research fellow
  • Marta Silva, Research fellow
  • Célia Gomes, Research fellow
  • Guilherme Leitão, Research fellow

 

Selected Publications

  1. Rodrigues, J., Inzé, D., Nelissen, H. and Saibo, N.J.M. (2019) Source–Sink Regulation in Crops under Water Deficit. Trends in Plant Science Available online 17 May 2019 doi
  2. Górska, A.M.,  Gouveia. P.,  Borba, A.R., Zimmermann, A.,  Serra, T-S.,  Lourenço, T.F., Oliveira, M.M.,  Peterhänsel, C., N.J.M., Saibo (2019). ZmbHLH80 and ZmbHLH90 transcription factors act antagonistically and contribute to regulate PEPC1 cell‐specific gene expression in maize. The Plant Journal  First published: 22 March 2019 doi
  3. Borba AR, Serra TS, Górska A, Gouveia P, Cordeiro A, Reyna-Llorens I, Knerová J, Barros PM, Abreu IA, Oliveira MM, Hibberd JM, Saibo NJM (2018) Synergistic binding of bHLH transcription factors to the promoter of the maize NADP-ME gene used in C4 photosynthesis is based on an ancient code found in the ancestral C3 state.  Molecular Biology and Evolution  Vol 35 (7), pp 1690–1705 doi
  4. Cordeiro, A.M., Figueiredo, D.D., Tepperman, J., Borba, A.R., Lourenço, T.F., Abreu, I.A., Ouwerkerk, B.F.P., Quail, H.P., Oliveira, M.M., and Saibo, N.J.M. (2016). Rice phytochrome-interacting factor protein OsPIF14 represses OsDREB1B gene expression through and extended N-box and interacts preferentially with the active form of Phytochrome B. BBA –Gene Regulatory Mechanisms Vol 1859: 393 - 404 doi


Laboratory's Website

For further information visit the laboratory's website

 

Regulação Génica em Plantas (PT)

O crescimento da população mundial, em conjunto com as alterações climáticas previstas, exige um aumento da produção agrícola mesmo em situações ambientais menos favoráveis e sem aumentar a área de cultivo. Este objetivo poderá ser atingido através da obtenção de plantas mais tolerantes a condições ambientais adversas (stress) ou de plantas com uma fotossíntese mais eficiente e por isso mais produtivas. Dado que tanto os mecanismos de resposta das plantas ao stress, como os da fotossíntese são altamente regulados ao nível da expressão dos genes envolvidos, o nosso laboratório tem como principal objetivo estudar como se dá essa regulação, em particular ao nível da transcrição do DNA. Estes estudos estão a ser realizados em duas plantas de cultivo, o arroz que é uma planta altamente sensível a condições ambientais desfavoráveis, nomeadamente frio, secura e salinidade, e o milho que é uma planta muito produtiva por possuir um mecanismo fotossintético altamente eficiente (mecanismo C4). O principal objetivo do laboratório de regulação da expressão génica em plantas é identificar elementos chave que no futuro possam ser utilizados no melhoramento das plantas cultivadas.

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