Success Stories

Research on Vegetal Biotecnology at the IHSM-UMA-CSIC (Málaga) Dr. David Posé (RYC-2013-12699)

David Posé has gained a Starting Grant in the last ERC call (2014). His project is entitled Transcriptional RegulAtory Network controlling Strawberry Fruit Ripening and Quality (TRANSFR-Q). The next link shows the news published on this matter (in Spanish): http://uciencia.uma.es/Noticias/Ciencia/Investigadores-de-la-UMA-obtienen-ayudas-Starting-Grant-de-la-UE
During my scientific career the focus of my research has been on understanding how plants perceive environmental signals and how this information is translated into developmental outcomes. Particularly, I have focused on two important aspects of the plant-environment interaction: (1) The identification and characterization of genes involved in abiotic stress tolerance, and (2) the study of transcription factors (TFs) involved in the regulation of the floral transition and fruit ripening.
As a doctoral student at the University of Málaga I worked on the identification and characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants that displayed impaired development under drought stress. As part of my PhD thesis, I isolated a drought hypersensitive mutant (dry2) and could demonstrate that the gene was involved in sterol biosynthesis. This work revealed an unexpected connection between root sterol composition and drought tolerance through the regulation of the production of reactive oxygen species. In addition I also generated second-site suppressors mutations of dry2. Characterization of one of these suppressors highlighted similarities but also important mechanistic differences among components involved in the regulation of the key enzyme of the mevalonate pathway in plants, yeast and animals.
During the postdoctoral period I spent at the Max Planck Institute (Tübingen, Germany), I investigated the complex regulatory network that controls floral transition and flower development in Arabidopsis thaliana. In particular I studied the role of key TFs in these processes, focusing mainly on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which temperature regulates flowering time. In this study, we identified a new mechanism of regulation based in two functionally antagonistic splice variants of the MADS-Box TF FLOWERING LOCUS M (FLM).
My current interest is to translate the expertise gained on the analysis of TFs in Arabidopsis to understand developmental programs in crop species such as strawberry. In particular, I am working on the identification of key TFs involved in the control of strawberry fruit ripening and the determination of the regulatory networks controlled by these TFs.

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