Vascular development

Evolution of signaling networks

Hormone signaling and plasticity

Hormone biotechnology

Gene expression regulation

Research Lines

The team

We are interested in environmental regulation of vasculature production, which is largely mediated by hormones and other plant growth regulators. Rather than the initial specification of vascular cell identities, our lab focuses on how different environmental factors coordinate vascular cell production with growth of the rest of the plant.

Several specific aspects of vascular development currently draw our attention, for which we use natural genetic variation and molecular genetic approaches:

    • What is the genetic circuit that promotes secondary growth (ie, in girth)? What is its relevance for adaptation to different climate conditions?

    • How do gibberellins promote cell division and differentiation during vascular development?

    • What is the role of thermospermine in vascular development?

    • What is the contribution of local auxin biosynthesis to vascular development?

Our recent contributions highlight the unexpected role of thermospermine in the translation of SACLs, a small set of transcriptional regulators which modulate cell division and cell death during xylem differentiation.





Our selected papers

Plant vascular development: mechanisms and environmental regulation

Agustí J, Blázquez MA.

Cell Mol Life Sci. (2020) 77, 3711-3728.

SOBIR1/EVR prevents precocious initiation of fiber differentiation during wood development through a mechanism involving BP and ERECTA

Milhinhos A, Vera-Sirera F, Blanco-Touriñán N, Marí-Carmona C, Carrió-Seguí A, Forment J, Champion C, Thamm A, Urbez C, Prescott H, Agustí J

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2019) 116, 18710-18716.

Regulation of xylem fibers differentiation by gibberellins through DELLA-KNAT1 interaction

Felipo-Benavent A, Úrbez C, Blanco-Touriñán N, Serrano-Mislata A, Baumberger N, Achard P, Agustí J, Blázquez MA, Alabadí D

Development (2018) 145:dev164962.

Spatial specificity of auxin responses coordinates wood formation

Brackmann K, Qi J, Gebert M, Jouannet V, Schlamp T, Grünwald K, Wallner ES, Novikova DD, Levitsky VG, Agustí J, Sanchez P, Lohmann JU, Greb T.

Nat. Commun. (2018) 9, 875.

A bHLH-based feedback loop that restricts vascular cell proliferation in plants

Vera-Sirera F, De Rybel B, Úrbez C, Kouklas E, Pesquera M, Álvarez-Mahecha JC, Minguet EG, Tuominen H, Carbonell J, Borst JW, Weijers D, Blázquez MA

Dev. Cell (2015) 35, 432-443.

Thermospermine levels are controlled by an auxin-dependent feedback loop mechanism in Populus xylem

Milhinhos A, Prestele J, Bollhöner B, Matos A, Vera-Sirera F, Rambla JL, Ljung K, Carbonell J, Blázquez MA, Tuominen H, Miguel CM

Plant J. (2013) 75, 685-698.

Role of polyamines in vascular development

Vera-Sirera F, Minguet EG, Singh SK, Ljung K, Tuominen H, Blázquez MA, Carbonell J  

Plant Physiol. Biochem. (2010) 48, 534-539.

ACAULIS5 controls Arabidopsis xylem specification through the prevention of premature cell death

Muñiz L, Minguet EG, Singh SK, Pesquet E, Vera-Sirera F, Courtois-Moreau C, Carbonell J, Blázquez MA, Tuominen H

Development (2008) 135, 2573-2582.