Gustavo Turqueto Duarte

Gustavo Turqueto Duarte

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2016

Receiving laboratory: IJPB Institute Jean-Pierre BOURGIN, Versailles-Grignon

Country of origin : Russia




Mobility project

Regulation of plant bZIP transcription factors by the interconnected SnRK1 and TOR signalling pathways: role in the adaptive responses to energy status and in synthesis of RFOs (raffinose family oligosaccharides)

Plant growth and metabolism are modulated by two functionally antagonist signalling pathways which are evolutionary conserved in eukaryotes: the Target of Rapamycin kinase (TOR) and the Sucrose non-fermenting 1-Related Kinase 1 (SnRK1) pathways. The switch between activation/deactivation of TOR or SnRK1 pathways is triggered by energetic signals, which are linked to the photosynthetic activity, but also depends on responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Both pathways lead to a transcriptional reprogramming involving, among others, the basic leucine zipper (bZIPs) transcription factors (TFs), which in turn control the metabolism of RFOs (raffinose family oligosaccharides). RFOs accumulate in response to a variety of stresses and may be involved in stress resistance. Using Arabidopsis thaliana as model organism, this project will investigate the potential interaction nodes between TOR and SnRK1 pathways involving the AtbZIP63 TF and ABA signalling. Understanding the connections between TOR and SnRK1 signalling pathways, two central growth modulators perceiving the energetic and stress conditions, to control accumulation of sugars like RFOs is of interest within a context of global climate changes and the need of sustainable alternatives for our current agriculture production model.

Biography & research interests

Graduated in Biological Sciences (2005), my general research interest is to understand how plants modulate the adaptation to stress conditions. During my PhD at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp – Brazil) between 2008 – 2012, I evaluated the importance of post-transcriptional regulations involved in glucose- and ABA-mediated responses in Arabidopsis. Part of this work consisted in analysing the role of miRNAs in glucose signalling during Arabidopsis early development. On the second part of my PhD, potential targets of mRNA decay control in response to glucose and ABA were revealed, while an experimental set up to efficiently inhibit transcription was developed. As Post-Doctorate Fellow (Unicamp – Brazil) between 2013 – 2016, I explored the kinetics of ABA-promoted changes in gene expression. I then worked for one year (2016 – 2017) as Senior Researcher at the Russian Institute of Radiology and Agroecology (Obninsk – Russian Federation), developing transcriptomics studies involving Scots pine populations exposed to the Chernobyl NPP accident, intending to identify genes that are responsible for adaptation to long-term radiation exposure.

Selected publications
[Submitted] Volkova P, Geras’kin S, Horemans N, Makarenko E, Saenen E, Nauts R, Bondarenko V, Duarte GT, Voorspoels S, Jacobs G. Chronic radiation exposure leads to genome hypermethylation and genetic differentiation in Scots pine populations;
Alves CS, Vicentini R, Duarte GT, Pinoti VF, Vincentz M, Nogueira FT. 2016. Genome-wide identification and characterization of tRNA-derived RNA fragments in land plants. Plant Molecular Biology 93: 35-48;
Duarte GT, Matiolli CC, Pant BD, Schlereth A, Scheible WR, Stitt M, Vicentini R, Vincentz M. 2013. Involvement of microRNA-related regulatory pathways in the glucose-mediated control of Arabidopsis early seedling development. Journal of Experimental Botany 64: 4301-4312;
Vitor SC, Duarte GT, Saviani EE, Vincentz M, Oliveira HC, Salgado I. 2013. Nitrate reductase is required for the transcriptional modulation and bactericidal activity of nitric oxide during the defense response of Arabidopsis thaliana against Pseudomonas syringae. Planta 238: 475-486;
Matiolli CC, Tomaz JP, Duarte GT, Prado FM, Del Bem LE, Silveira AB, Gauer L, Corrêa LG, Drumond RD, Viana AJ, Di Mascio P, Meyer C, Vincentz M. 2011. The Arabidopsis bZIP gene AtbZIP63 is a sensitive integrator of transient abscisic acid and glucose signals. Plant Physiology 157: 692-705.

Awards & patents

Deep knowledge in the area of research. 3rd International Scientific Conference “Ecological Safety of NPPs”. Kaliningrad, Russia. 2016.
Honorable Mention for the work in the field of Genetics, Evolution and Plant Breeding, Brazilian Genetics Society. 61st Brazilian Genetics Conference. 2015.
Honorable Mention for the work in the field of Genetics, Evolution and Animal Breeding – Scientific Initiation Award, Brazilian Genetics Society. 2005.
Award of Best Work in Biology Field – XIII Internal Conference of Scientific Initiation of UNICAMP. 2005.



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