Plants are sessile and need to cope with adverse environmental conditions that affect their development. To this end, plants have evolved adaptive processes that enable them to survive stresses such as drought, freezing or salinity. The work in our laboratory is aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes, which ultimately will allow improving crop productivity and sustainability in agriculture and environment. Our research program largely focuses in the molecular genetics of low temperature sensing and signalling. The goal is to identify and characterize key components of the signal transduction pathways that mediate cold acclimation, an adaptive process whereby many plants increase their freezing tolerance in response to low, non-freezing temperatures. As many plant responses to abiotic stresses are largely conserved, the identification of signalling components involved in cold acclimation also provides insights into the mechanisms controlling plant tolerance to other important adverse environmental conditions such as drought and soil salinity. Most of our work is carried out with Arabidopsis, a model plant that is able to cold acclimate. Using a combination of genetic, cell biology, molecular and biochemical approaches, we have identified transcriptional networks and gene modules that regulate cold acclimation and confer tolerance to freezing and other related stresses. Interestingly, some of these gene modules resulted to be constituted by novel regulatory elements related to post-transcriptional control of gene expression, including RNA-binding proteins and long-noncoding RNAs.
Current efforts are mainly dedicated to understand the mechanisms of action of these elements and their roles in abiotic stress responses. The conservation of the transcriptional networks and gene modules identified in Arabidopsis in important crops such as tomato is also being subject of study.
Perea-Resa, C., Rodríguez-Milla, M.A., Iniesto, E., Rubio, V., Salinas, J. . Prefoldins Negatively Regulate Cold Acclimation in Arabidopsis thaliana by Promoting Nuclear Proteasome-Mediated HY5 Degradation. Molecular Plant. 10:791-804.
Carrasco-López, C., Hernández-Verdeja, T., Perea-Resa, C., Abia, D., Catalá, R., Salinas, J. . Environment-dependent regulation of spliceosome activity by the LSM2-8 complex in Arabidopsis. Nucleic Acids Research. 45:7416-7431.
Barrero-Gil, J., Salinas, J. Volume 10, Issue 4, 3 April 2017, Pages 542-544 . CBFs at the Crossroads of Plant Hormone Signaling in Cold Stress Response. Molecular Plant. :10 (4), 542-544
Barrero-Gil, J., Huertas, R., Rambla, J.L., Granell, A., Salinas, J. . Tomato plants increase their tolerance to low temperature in a chilling acclimation process entailing comprehensive transcriptional and metabolic adjustments. Plant Cell and Environment. 39:2303-2318.
Perea-Resa, C., Carrasco-López, C., Catalá, R., Turečková, V., Novak, O., Zhang, W., Sieburth, L., Jiménez-Gómez, J.M., Salinas, J. . The LSM1-7 complex differentially regulates arabidopsis tolerance to abiotic stress conditions by promoting selective mRNA decapping. Plant Cell. 28:505-520.
Catala R, Salinas J . The Arabidopsis ethylene overproducer mutant eto1-3 displays enhanced freezing tolerance. Plant Signaling and Behavior 10:3, e989768
Coego A, Brizuela E, Castillejo P, Ruiz S, Koncz C, del Pozo JC, Piñeiro M, Jarillo J A, Paz-Ares J, Leon J et al. . The TRANSPLANTA collection of Arabidopsis lines: A resource for functional analysis of transcription factors based on their conditional overexpression. Plant J 77: 944-953
Rodriguez-Hernandez AA, Ortega-Amaro MA, Delgado-Sanchez P, Salinas J, Jimenez-Bremont JF . AtGRDP1 gene encoding a glycine-rich domain protein is involved in germination and responds to ABA signaling. Plant Mol Biol Rep 32: 1187-1202
Perea-Resa C, Salinas J . Identification of Arabidopsis mutants with altered freezing tolerance. Eds: Hincha DK, Zuther E. Plant Cold Aclimation: Methods and protocols. Springer Science, New York, pp 79-89
Catala R, Lopez-Cobollo R, Castellano MM, Angosto T, Alonso JM, Ecker JR, Salinas J . The Arabidopsis 14-3-3 protein RARE COLD INDUCIBLE 1A links low-temperature response and ethylene biosynthesis to regulate freezing tolerance and cold acclimation. Plant Cell 26: 3326-3342
Project: BIO2013-47788-R - Title: Long noncoding RNA-dependent mechanisms involved in regulating cold acclimation response in Arabidopsis - Funding agency: DGICYT - PI: J. Salinas
Project: BIO2016-79187-R - Title: Unveiling new regulatory mechanisms of pre-mRNA splicing involved in plant tolerance to freezing and related abiotic stresses - Funding Agency: AEI/FEDER - PI: J. Salinas