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Competence for Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) expression in epiphytic bromeliad: signaling, modulation of expression, transcriptional profile and interaction with the nitrogen metabolism


Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is one of the three possible pathways of atmospheric carbon (CO2) assimilation via photosynthesis. CAM plants have higher water use efficiency, representing an important physiological adaptation that allows these plants to occupy habits characterized by intermittent water availability, such as the epiphytic niche. This project has a major goal to study the induction and modulation of CAM expression by environmental factors (water or nutritional stress) in an epiphytic thank-forming bromeliad species, Guzmania monostachia, which displays C3-CAM facultative photosynthesis. The mechanisms by which environmental factors elicit changes in the type of photosynthesis is a field that received little investigation up to now, conferring vital importance to new studies on the transduction cascades triggered by environmental signals that lead to modulations in biochemistry, as well as in specific gene expression. The characterization of genes differentially expressed in a C3-CAM facultative species under distinct environmental conditions will also open great research perspectives. Among the endogenous signals, especial attention will be addressed to phytohormones (abscisic acid and cytokinins), nitric oxide, S-nitrosothiols and reactive oxygen species. The switch from C3 to CAM in leaves of different developmental stages obtained from plants at distinct ontogenetic phases will be characterized. The interaction between C and N metabolisms will also be analyzed since different nitrogen sources are usually available in the epiphytic environment, leading to peculiar nitrogen absorption and assimilation strategies in bromeliads, which are in consonance with the type of photosynthetic pathway performed. Urea, for instance, (after the hydrolysis by endogenous urease) will be evaluated regarding to the supply, of carbon dioxide, besides N, contributing, thus, for a possible CO2 concentration mechanism. Evidence about the possible interaction between water/nutritional status and the CAM pathway in bromeliads will also be analyzed, attempting to discuss the impacts of the occurrence of this specialized photosynthetic pathway on the delicate equilibrium between C and N assimilation. The findings obtained will not only increase the current knowledge about the physiology of epiphytic plants, but may also contribute as potential biotechnological tools in the future, especially for enhancing water and nitrogen use efficiency by crop species. (AU)

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Scientific publications (17)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GONCALVES, ANA Z.; LATSANIO, SABRINA; DETMANN, KELLY C.; MARABESI, MAURO A.; NETO, ANTONIO A. C.; AIDAR, MARCOS P. M.; DAMATTA, FABIO M.; MERCIER, HELENICE. What does the RuBisCO activity tell us about a C-3-CAM plant?. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, v. 147, p. 172-180, . (16/09699-5, 18/12667-3, 11/50637-0)
GONCALVES, ANA ZANGIROLAME; RAYNER OLIVEIRA, PAULO MARCELO; COUTINHO NETO, ANTONIO AZEREDO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Thinking of the leaf as a whole plant: How does N metabolism occur in a plant with foliar nutrient uptake?. ENVIRONMENTAL AND EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, v. 178, . (16/09699-5, 18/12667-3, 11/50637-0)
CARVALHO, VICTORIA; ABREU, MARIA E.; MERCIER, HELENICE; NIEVOLA, CATARINA C.. Adjustments in CAM and enzymatic scavenging of H2O2 in juvenile plants of the epiphytic bromeliad Guzmania monostachia as affected by drought and rewatering. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, v. 113, p. 32-39, . (11/50637-0, 14/03147-5)
PIKART, FILIPE C.; MARABESI, MAURO A.; MIOTO, PAULO T.; GONCALVES, ANA Z.; MATIZ, ALEJANDRA; ALVES, FREDERICO R. R.; MERCIER, HELENICE; AIDAR, MARCOS P. M.. The contribution of weak CAM to the photosynthetic metabolic activities of a bromeliad species under water deficit. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, v. 123, p. 297-303, . (11/50637-0, 16/04924-0, 16/09699-5, 13/15108-1)
MIOTO, PAULO TAMASO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Abscisic acid and nitric oxide signaling in two different portions of detached leaves of Guzmania monostachia with CAM up-regulated by drought. Journal of Plant Physiology, v. 170, n. 11, p. 996-1002, . (11/50637-0)
PEREIRA, PAULA NATALIA; CHARLES SMITH, JAMES ANDREW; MERCIER, HELENICE. Nitrate enhancement of CAM activity in two Kalanchoe species is associated with increased vacuolar proton transport capacity. PHYSIOLOGIA PLANTARUM, v. 160, n. 4, p. 361-372, . (11/50637-0)
RODRIGUES, MARIA AURINEIDE; HAMACHI, LEONARDO; MIOTO, PAULO TAMASO; PURGATTO, EDUARDO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Implications of leaf ontogeny on drought-induced gradients of CAM expression and ABA levels in rosettes of the epiphytic tank bromeliad Guzmania monostachia. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, v. 108, p. 400-411, . (11/04963-2, 11/50637-0, 13/15108-1)
KATAYAMA GOBARA, BRUNO NOBUYA; RODRIGUES ALVES, FREDERICO ROCHA; PIKART, FILIPE CHRISTIAN; GONCALVES, ANA ZANGIROLAME; ALVES CURSINO DOS SANTOS, DEBORAH YARA; DE ALBUQUERQUE MELO DE PINNA, GLADYS FLAVIA; MERCIER, HELENICE. How does a C-3 epiphytic tank bromeliad respond to drought?. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 192, n. 4, SI, p. 855-867, . (11/50637-0, 16/09699-5, 18/12667-3, 13/22267-9)
PEREIRA, PAULA NATALIA; CHARLES SMITH, JAMES ANDREW; PURGATTO, EDUARDO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Proton and anion transport across the tonoplast vesicles in bromeliad species. FUNCTIONAL PLANT BIOLOGY, v. 44, n. 6, p. 646-653, . (11/50637-0)
MATIZ, A.; MIOTO, P. T.; AIDAR, M. P. M.; MERCIER, H.. Utilization of urea by leaves of bromeliad Vriesea gigantea under water deficit: much more than a nitrogen source. Biologia Plantarum, v. 61, n. 4, p. 751-762, . (13/09097-7, 11/50637-0)
PEREIRA, PAULA NATALIA; GASPAR, MARILIA; SMITH, J. ANDREW C.; MERCIER, HELENICE. Ammonium intensifies CAM photosynthesis and counteracts drought effects by increasing malate transport and antioxidant capacity in Guzmania monostachia. Journal of Experimental Botany, v. 69, n. 8, p. 1993-2003, . (11/50637-0)
ABREU, MARIA E.; CARVALHO, VICTORIA; MERCIER, HELENICE. Antioxidant capacity along the leaf blade of the C-3-CAM facultative bromeliad Guzmania monostachia under water deficit conditions. FUNCTIONAL PLANT BIOLOGY, v. 45, n. 6, p. 620-629, . (14/03147-5, 11/50637-0)
KLEINGESINDS, CAROLINA KREBS; KATAYAMA GOBARA, BRUNO NOBUYA; MANCILHA, DIOCENI; RODRIGUES, MARIA AURINEIDE; DEMARCO, DIEGO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Impact of tank formation on distribution and cellular organization of trichomes within Guzmania monostachia rosette. FLORA, v. 243, p. 11-18, . (11/50637-0)
MIOTO, PAULO TAMASO; RODRIGUEZ-RUIZ, MARTA; MOT, AUGUSTIN CATALIN; ZUCCARELLI, RAFAEL; CORPAS, FRANCISCO J.; FRESCHI, LUCIANO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Alternative fluorimetric-based method to detect and compare total S-nitrosothiols in plants. NITRIC OXIDE-BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY, v. 68, p. 7-13, . (13/15108-1, 11/50637-0, 13/18056-2)
MATIZ, ALEJANDRA; CAMBUI, CAMILA AGUETONI; RICHET, NICOLAS; MIOTO, PAULO TAMASO; GOMES, FERNANDO; PIKART, FILIPE CHRISTIAN; CHAUMONT, FRANCOIS; GASPAR, MARILIA; MERCIER, HELENICE. Involvement of aquaporins on nitrogen-acquisition strategies of juvenile and adult plants of an epiphytic tank-forming bromeliad. PLANTA, v. 250, n. 1, p. 319-332, . (13/09097-7, 11/50637-0)
PEREIRA, PAULA NATALIA; PURGATTO, EDUARDO; MERCIER, HELENICE. Spatial division of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and nitrate reductase activity and its regulation by cytokinins in CAM-induced leaves of Guzmania monostachia (Bromeliaceae). Journal of Plant Physiology, v. 170, n. 12, p. 1067-1074, . (11/50637-0, 10/04273-3)

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