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.
Olate, E., Jiménez-Gómez, J.M., Holuigue, L., Salinas, J. . NPR1 mediates a novel regulatory pathway in cold acclimation by interacting with HSFA1 factors. Nature Plants. 4:811-823
Barrero-Gil J., Salinas J. . Gene Regulatory Networks Mediating Cold Acclimation: The CBF Pathway. In: Iwaya-Inoue M., Sakurai M., Uemura M. (eds) Survival Strategies in Extreme Cold and Desiccation. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 1081:3-22 Springer, Singapore
Catalá, R., Salinas, J. . Tailoring crop nutrition to fight weeds. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115 (29) 7456-7458. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1809311115
Costa-Broseta, Á., Perea-Resa, C., Castillo, M.-C., Ruíz, M.F., Salinas, J., León, J. . Nitric Oxide Controls Constitutive Freezing Tolerance in Arabidopsis by Attenuating the Levels of Osmoprotectants, Stress-Related Hormones and Anthocyanins. Scientific Reports. 8 (1).
Egea, I., Pineda, B., Ortíz-Atienza, A., Plasencia, F.A., Drevensek, S., García-Sogo, B., Yuste-Lisbona, F.J., Barrero-Gil, J., Atarés, A., Flores, F.B., Barneche, F., Angosto, T., Capel, C., Salinas, J., Vriezen, W., Esch, E., Bowler, C., Bolarín, M.C., Moreno, V., Lozano, R. . The SLCBl10 calcineurin B-Like protein ensures plant growth under salt stress by regulating Na+ and Ca2+ homeostasis. Plant Physiology. 176:1676-1693.
Barrero-Gil, J., Salinas, J. . CBFs at the Crossroads of Plant Hormone Signaling in Cold Stress Response. Molecular Plant. 10 (4), 542-544
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.
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.
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