Since a couple of years we have started to study molecular and physiological mechanisms that allow plants to suppress shade avoidance responses. We expect these to be prominent in in species that live in forest understories, since the tall trees cannot be outgrown through shade avoidance responses (Gommers et al, 2013). We adopted a comparative species system of two wild Geraniums: Geranium pyrenaicum and Geranium robertianum. The first is a great shade avoider, the second is not. We published our pioneering study in an open access Plant Cell paper in 2017 (Gommers et al., 2017), and are happy to share a second paper from these studies now in the open access journal Plant Direct (Gommers et al., 2018). The latest paper is mostly focused on hormone biology and how the two opposing shade response strategies require different hormone physiology. The work was done mostly by Lot Gommers, who is now in Elena Monte’s lab at CRAG, Barcelona, and is being continued by Sara Buti in our group. The new Vici project (vacancies to be found on the vacancies tab of this site) will also ensure follow-up on this topic.
Gommers et al., 2013: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2012.09.008
Gommers et al., 2017: https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.16.00790
Gommers et al., 2018: https://doi.org/10.1002/pld3.66