Projet ANR DESWITCH (2020-2023): Deciphering the molecular switch of seed desiccation tolerance to improve plant stress tolerance [ANR Jeunes Chercheurs]

Projet DESWITCH

Projet ANR DESWITCH (2020-2023): Deciphering the molecular switch of seed desiccation tolerance to improve plant stress tolerance [ANR Jeunes Chercheurs]

Deciphering the molecular switch of seed desiccation tolerance to improve plant stress tolerance

Cultivated plants are not resistant to severe drought in the vegetative stage, but produce seeds tolerant to desiccation (DT, with a water content of less than 10%). The mechanism for tolerating this extreme dehydration only activates during seed ripening and is lost soon after germination. Previous research has identified hundreds of protective genes that are involved, but not the keyregulator(s) of this process.

The ANR DESWITCH project aims to elucidate the activation / inactivation mechanism leading to tolerance to desiccation in the seeds. Results obtained show that DT genes are repressed at the epigenetic level in vegetative tissues of Arabidopsis and Medicago. We propose to identify when and how these genes are activated epigenetically during seed development and what are the potential regulator(s) are of this mechanism, including pioneer genes, capable of regulating the condensation and activation of chromatin regions in plants.

Understanding this mechanism would allow a possible activation of this mechanism during vegetative growth, ensuring plant survival during periods of drought and improving overall plant stress tolerance.

Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 02 June 2020 | Redactor : J. Buitink