In our lab we are interested in FRUIT DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION. Our goal is to understand how fruit patterning is established, and what is the molecular basis of the morphological and functional diversity found in Nature.
WHY: Fruits are a major evolutionary acquisition of Angiosperms. Fruits likely evolved to protect the developing seeds and to ensure seed dispersal, and for that, they have adopted a huge morphological and functional diversity, greatly responsible for the evolutive success of flowering plants. In addition, fruits are of major economic importance, representing the edible part of many crops as well as being a source for production of seed, oil and other compounds
The genetics of carpel development in Arabidopsis
Fruit patterning and fruit traits such as form, size or texture, depend in great extent from carpel patterning, the ovule-bearing floral organs. Carpels form the gynoecium, probably the most complex organ in the plant, organized in a structure of functional modules with specific roles. Our long-term goal is to understand how these modules are specified and spatially distributed in the developing gynoecium. We use genetic, molecular and genomic tools to unravel the architecture of the regulatory networks directing these processes in Arabidopsis, the most widely used model plant, trying to understand how hormone signaling, regulatory hierarchies and protein-protein interactions contribute to finally define carpel morphogenesis.
Conservation of genetic models for carpel and fruit patterning in angiosperms
We have initiated a systematic study of the conservation of the genetic networks directing carpel patterning in Arabidopsis in other unrelated angiosperm species (poppies, legumes, solanaceae, rice...). We are also trying to test if variations in conserved genetic networks directing fruit patterning can explain morphological innovations found in some plant families, as for example the curly spiny fruits that originated in the genus Medicago
Transcriptional regulation of life span in monocarpic plants
Most annual plants have mechanisms to ensure that once a certain amount of fruits and seeds have been produced, all aerial meristems coordinately cease grow to optimize resources to the production of seed. We are investigating the genetic mechanisms underlying this coordinated arrest, in particular studying the role of several transcription factors in the process
Other Group Members
Alejandro León Flores - Estudiante de Máster
Clara Ortíz - Investigadora visitante de la Universidad de Antioquía, Colombia
Natalia Pabón-Mora, Yesenia Madrigal, Juan F. Alzate, Barbara A.Ambrose, Cristina Ferrándiz, Stephan Wanke, Christoph Neinhuis, Favio Gonzalez (2020)Class II TCP Gene Evolution in Perianth-bearing Piperales and Their Contribution to the Bilateral Calyx in AristolochiaNew Phytologist 228: 752-769
Pablo Peréz-Mesa, Clara I. Ortíz-Ramírez, Favio González, Cristina Ferrándiz, Natalia Pabón-Mora (2020)Expression of gynoecium patterning transcription factors Aristolochia fimbriata (Aristolochiaceae) and their contribution to gynostemium developmentEvodevo 11:4
Irene Martínez-Fernández, Stefanie Menezes de Moura, Marcio Alves Ferreira, Cristina Ferrandiz, Vicente Balanzà (2020)Identification of players controling meristem arrest downstream of the FRUITFULL-APETALA2 pathwayPlant Physiology 184:945-59.
Clara Ortiz-Ramirez, Marco A. Giraldo, Cristina Ferrandiz, Natalia Pabon Mora (2019)Expression and function of the bHLH genes ALCATRAZ and SPATULA in selected Solanaceae speciesPlant Journal https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14352
Cristina Ferrandiz (2019)Fruit Development: Turning Sticks into HeartsCurrent Biology 29, R337-9
Humberto Herrera-Ubaldo, Paulina Lozano-Sotomayor, Ignacio Ezquer, Maurizio di Marzo, Ricardo A Chávez-Montes, Andrea Gómez-Felipe, Jeanneth Pablo-Villa, David Díaz-Ramírez, Patricia Ballester, Cristina Ferrándiz, Martin Sagasser, Lucia Colombo, Nayelli Marsch-Martínez, Stefan de Folter (2019)New roles of NO TRANSMITTING TRACT and SEEDSTICK during medial domain development in Arabidopsis fruitsDevelopment 146:dev172395
Edelín Roque, Concepción Gómez-Mena, Cristina Ferrándiz, Jose Pio Beltrán, Luis Cañas (2018)Functional genomics and genetic control of flower and fruit development in Medicago truncatula: An overviewMethods Mol Biol 1822:273-290
Vicente Balanzà, Irene Martínez-Fernández, Shusei Sato, Martin F. Yanofsky, Kerstin Kaufmann, Gerco C Angenent, Marian Bemer, Cristina Ferrándiz (2018)Genetic control of meristem arrest and life span in Arabidopsis by a FRUITFULL-APETALA2 pathwayNature Communications 9 doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03067-5 .
Carol Moreau, Julie M. I. Hofer, Morgane Eléouët, Andrey Sinjushin, Mike Ambrose, Kirsten Skøt, Tina Blackmore, Martin Swain, Matthew Hegarty, Vicente Balanzà, Cristina Ferrándiz, T. H. Noel Ellis (2018)Identification of Stipules reduced, a leaf morphology gene in pea (Pisum sativum).New Phytologist doi.org/10.1111/nph.15286
Di Wu, Wanqi Liang, Wanwan Zhu, Minjiao Chen, Cristina Ferrandiz, Rachel A Burton, Ludovico dreni, Dabing Zhang (2018)Loss of LOFSEP transcription factor function converts spikelet to leaf-like structures in ricePlant Physiology doi:10.1104/pp.17.00704.
LongLifeCrop: Understanding the molecular basis of global proliferative arrest in monocarpic plants: biotechnological strategies for increased fruit and seed production in annual crops. DGI BIO2015- 64531-R.