Plants are highly influenced by the surrounding environmental changes, which shape growth and development over the entire plant life cycle. Elucidating how internal and external cues are coordinated to spatially and temporally regulate plant development is essential for understanding plant optimum fitness and reproductive success.

Research in our Program aims to gain in-depth fundamental knowledge on the molecular and cellular determinants governing plant signaling and development. We use multifaceted and integrative approaches, from cells, tissues and organs all the way to the whole plant. Our research focuses on environmental cues, mainly light and temperature, and endogenous pathways such as hormone and circadian signalling, to examine their effect on multiple developmental processes, from seed germination or root development to floral induction. Molecular mechanisms involving non-coding RNA molecules and post-translational regulation of protein function are also topics covered in our Program. We employ a combination of molecular, genetic, biochemical, and computational approaches using Arabidopsis thaliana as well as a variety of other species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Sorghum bicolor.

Ultimately, our Program aims to obtain a comprehensive understanding of how plants grow, develop and evolve in coordination with the surrounding environment. The drastic environmental changes imposed by climate alteration negatively impact the productivity of agronomically important crops. A detailed and predictive understanding of plant growth and development will be essential to tackle these negative effects.


Martignago, D., Rico-Medina, A., Blasco-Escámez, D., Fontanet-Manzaneque, J.B., Caño-Delgado, A.I.

Drought Resistance by Engineering Plant Tissue-Specific Responses (2020) Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 10 Art. number 1676 (DOI:10.3389/fpls.2019.01676)

González, A., Sevillano, X., Betegón-Putze, I., Blasco-Escámez, D., Ferrer, M., Caño-Delgado, A.I.

MyROOT 2.0: An automatic tool for high throughput and accurate primary root length measurement (2020) Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, vol. 168 Art. number 105125 (DOI:10.1016/j.compag.2019.105125)

Qüesta, J.I., Antoniou-Kourounioti, R.L., Rosa, S., Li, P., Duncan, S., Whittaker, C., Howard, M., Dean, C.

Noncoding SNPs influence a distinct phase of Polycomb silencing to destabilize long-term epigenetic memory at Arabidopsis FLC (2020) Genes & development, vol. 34 (5-6), pp. 446 -461 (DOI:10.1101/gad.333245.119)

Fernie, A.R., Bachem, C.W.B., Helariutta, Y., Neuhaus, H.E., Prat, S., Ruan, Y.-L., Stitt, M., Sweetlove, L.J., Tegeder, M., Wahl, V., Sonnewald, S., Sonnewald, U.

Synchronization of developmental, molecular and metabolic aspects of source–sink interactions (2020) Nature Plants, vol. 6 (2), pp. 55 -66 (DOI:10.1038/s41477-020-0590-x)

Tong, M., Lee, K., Ezer, D., Cortijo, S., Jung, J., Charoensawan, V., Box, M.S., Jaeger, K.E., Takahashi, N., Mas, P., Wigge, P.A., Seo, P.J.

The Evening Complex Establishes Repressive Chromatin Domains Via H2A.Z Deposition (2020) Plant physiology, vol. 182 (1), pp. 612 -625 (DOI:10.1104/pp.19.00881)