Plant Stress Physiology

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PhD Theses



Studies on the physiology of abiotic stresses in plants with particular reference to deficiencies and toxicities of metals, using, among other techniques, proteomics, metabolomics and remote diagnostics.

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  1. Establish nutrient cycles in fruit crops and improve strategies for correcting deficiencies:
    • Characterize root nutrient uptake frontiers using proteomic approaches.
    • Characterize the effects of corrective treatments (injections of solid and foliar sprays and addition of chelates to the ground) on the composition of xylem and phloem sap.
    • Establish the presence or absence of Fe chelates and products related in various parts of the plant (leaves, fruits and xylem sap) following treatment with these compounds.
    • Study the mechanisms of action of natural compounds and Fe-fertilizers.
    • Develop new technologies of foliar nutrient supply for the correction of deficiencies in fruit crops.
    • Locate and characterize clusters of immobilized Fe chlorotic leaves of fruit trees grown in the field having the so-called chlorosis paradox (low chlorophyll, high Fe), also using plants in hydroponic culture which have induced the same feature.
  2. Explore the effects of climate change on plants, with emphasis on the biology of the vine, and monitoring of abiotic stresses, including those associated with climate change through remote sensing.
    • Characterize in detail the changes that the climate change (high CO2 , high temperature and drought) causes in the physiology of the plant.
    • To study the biology of the vine in a context of climate change.
    • Progress in the use of remote sensing stress in plants, using remote fluorescence and reflectance sensors.
  3. Characterize metal homeostasis in plants mediated by small molecules and proteins.
    • Develop analytical methodologies that allow for the identification and quantification of small molecules as metal chelators (natural and synthetic), and its chelates with Fe, Zn, Mn and Cd in  nutrient solutions and within the plants.
    • Characterize the transport of the metals Fe, Mn, Zn and Cd at long distance with small molecules, proteins and peptides, both in phloem and xylem of model plants.
    • Characterize the transport of Fe over long distances related to small molecules, proteins and peptides, both in xylem and phloem of fruit trees.
    • Characterize changes in the proteomes of root, leaf, xylem, phloem, plasma membrane, tonoplast and other tissues and compartments, mediated by Fe, Mn and Zn deficiency and toxicity of Fe, Zn and Cd.
    • Study gradients related to metal homeostasis in leaves and roots.