CE20 - Biologie des animaux, des organismes photosynthétiques et des microorganismes

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

Des résultats obtenus montrent que les gènes de DT sont contrôlés au niveau épigénétique dans les tissus végétatifs d'Arabidopsis et de Medicago. Nous proposons d’identifier quand et comment ces gènes sont activés pendant la DT et quels sont régulateurs potentielles de ce mécanisme, incluant les gènes pionniers, capables d'activer/désactiver la DT chez les plantes.

See Scientific production section

Functional validation of candidate genes controlling the desiccation tolerance

Malabarba J., Windels D., Xu W., Verdier J. (2021-02-25). Regulation of DNA (de)methylation positively impacts seed germination during seed development under heat stress. Genes, 12 (3), dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes12030457, hal.inrae.fr/hal-03184120
Lalanne D., Malabarba J., Ly Vu J., Hundertmark M., Delahaie J., Leprince O., Buitink J., Verdier J. (2021). Medicago ABI3 Splicing Isoforms Regulate the Expression of Different Gene Clusters to Orchestrate Seed Maturation. Plants, 10 (8), 1710, dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10081710, hal.inrae.fr/hal-03329141
Carrere S., Verdier J., Gamas P. (2021). MtExpress, a Comprehensive and Curated RNAseq-based Gene Expression Atlas for the Model Legume Medicago truncatula. Plant and Cell Physiology, in press, dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcab110, hal.inrae.fr/hal-03335195

Submission summary

Drought has challenged food security worldwide, urging the development of drought-tolerant crop varieties. Crops do not withstand severe drought at the vegetative stage, but produce desiccation tolerance (DT) seeds. The ability to tolerate extreme dehydration is tightly regulated, being switched on during seed maturation and off shortly after germination (DT switch). While major efforts have focused on unravelling the nature of the protective compounds conferring DT, mechanisms that regulate their accumulation during seed development are poorly understood.
The DEswitch project aims at unraveling the molecular regulation of the DT switch. Based on preliminary evidence that specific histone modifications tightly repress the regulatory networks responsible for DT in Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula vegetative tissues. We propose combining cutting-edge molecular methods to decipher the exact timing and nature of the DT switch, enabling identification of putative regulators of the DT switch, including pioneer genes, able to switch on/off DT in plants
By unravelling the DT switch, our project will target several pivotal agricultural issues, such as food security and crop adaptation to climate change, with potential improvement of plant stress tolerance, and conservation of genetic resources, with easier management of short-lived seeds.

Project coordination

Jerome Verdier (Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IRHS Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences

Help of the ANR 239,866 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2019 - 36 Months

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