Academic Appointments


  • Basic Life Science Research Associate, Biology

All Publications


  • A genome-wide algal mutant library and functional screen identifies genes required for eukaryotic photosynthesis NATURE GENETICS Li, X., Patena, W., Fauser, F., Jinkerson, R. E., Saroussi, S., Meyer, M. T., Ivanova, N., Robertson, J. M., Yue, R., Zhang, R., Vilarrasa-Blasi, J., Wittkopp, T. M., Ramundo, S., Blum, S. R., Goh, A., Laudon, M., Srikumar, T., Lefebvre, P. A., Grossman, A. R., Jonikas, M. C. 2019; 51 (4): 627-+
  • A genome-wide algal mutant library and functional screen identifies genes required for eukaryotic photosynthesis. Nature genetics Li, X., Patena, W., Fauser, F., Jinkerson, R. E., Saroussi, S., Meyer, M. T., Ivanova, N., Robertson, J. M., Yue, R., Zhang, R., Vilarrasa-Blasi, J., Wittkopp, T. M., Ramundo, S., Blum, S. R., Goh, A., Laudon, M., Srikumar, T., Lefebvre, P. A., Grossman, A. R., Jonikas, M. C. 2019

    Abstract

    Photosynthetic organisms provide food and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet half of their protein-coding genes remain uncharacterized1,2. Characterization of these genes could be greatly accelerated by new genetic resources for unicellular organisms. Here we generated a genome-wide, indexed library of mapped insertion mutants for the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The 62,389 mutants in the library, covering 83% of nuclear protein-coding genes, are available to the community. Each mutant contains unique DNA barcodes, allowing the collection to be screened as a pool. We performed a genome-wide survey of genes required for photosynthesis, which identified 303 candidate genes. Characterization of one of these genes, the conserved predicted phosphatase-encoding gene CPL3, showed that it is important for accumulation of multiple photosynthetic protein complexes. Notably, 21 of the 43 higher-confidence genes are novel, opening new opportunities for advances in understanding of this biogeochemically fundamental process. This library will accelerate the characterization of thousands of genes in algae, plants, and animals.

    View details for PubMedID 30886426

  • A Sizer model for cell differentiation in Arabidopsis thaliana root growth MOLECULAR SYSTEMS BIOLOGY Pavelescu, I., Vilarrasa-Blasi, J., Planas-Riverola, A., Gonzalez-Garcia, M., Cano-Delgado, A. I., Ibanes, M. 2018; 14 (1): e7687

    Abstract

    Plant roots grow due to cell division in the meristem and subsequent cell elongation and differentiation, a tightly coordinated process that ensures growth and adaptation to the changing environment. How the newly formed cells decide to stop elongating becoming fully differentiated is not yet understood. To address this question, we established a novel approach that combines the quantitative phenotypic variability of wild-type Arabidopsis roots with computational data from mathematical models. Our analyses reveal that primary root growth is consistent with a Sizer mechanism, in which cells sense their length and stop elongating when reaching a threshold value. The local expression of brassinosteroid receptors only in the meristem is sufficient to set this value. Analysis of roots insensitive to BR signaling and of roots with gibberellin biosynthesis inhibited suggests distinct roles of these hormones on cell expansion termination. Overall, our study underscores the value of using computational modeling together with quantitative data to understand root growth.

    View details for DOI 10.15252/msb.20177687

    View details for Web of Science ID 000423537000001

    View details for PubMedID 29321184

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5787709

  • Paracrine brassinosteroid signaling at the stem cell niche controls cellular regeneration JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE Lozano-Elena, F., Planas-Riverola, A., Vilarrasa-Blasi, J., Schwab, R., Cano-Delgado, A. I. 2018; 131 (2)

    View details for DOI 10.1242/jcs.204065

    View details for Web of Science ID 000424842400017

  • BES1 regulates the localization of the brassinosteroid receptor BRL3 within the provascular tissue of the Arabidopsis primary root JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY Salazar-Henao, J. E., Lehner, R., Betegon-Putze, I., Vilarrasa-Blasi, J., Cano-Delgado, A. I. 2016; 67 (17): 4951-4961

    Abstract

    Brassinosteroid (BR) hormones are important regulators of plant growth and development. Recent studies revealed the cell-specific role of BRs in vascular and stem cell development by the action of cell-specific BR receptor complexes and downstream signaling components in Arabidopsis thaliana Despite the importance of spatiotemporal regulation of hormone signaling in the control of plant vascular development, the mechanisms that confer cellular specificity to BR receptors within the vascular cells are not yet understood. The present work shows that BRI1-like receptor genes 1 and 3 (BRL1 and BRL3) are differently regulated by BRs. By using promoter deletion constructs of BRL1 and BRL3 fused to GFP/GUS (green fluorescent protein/β-glucuronidase) reporters in Arabidopsis, analysis of their cell-specific expression and regulation by BRs in the root apex has been carried out. We found that BRL3 expression is finely modulated by BRs in different root cell types, whereas the location of BRL1 appears to be independent of this hormone. Physiological and genetic analysis show a BR-dependent expression of BRL3 in the root meristem. In particular, BRL3 expression requires active BES1, a central transcriptional effector within the BRI1 pathway. ChIP analysis showed that BES1 directly binds to the BRRE present in the BRL3 promoter region, modulating its transcription in different subsets of cells of the root apex. Overall our study reveals the existence of a cell-specific negative feedback loop from BRI1-mediated BES1 transcription factor to BRL3 in phloem cells, while contributing to a general understanding of the spatial control of steroid signaling in plant development.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jxb/erw258

    View details for Web of Science ID 000384648900005

    View details for PubMedID 27511026