Abiotic stress modulates shade avoidance

Our latest paper is now online, open access at Current Biology: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30340-9. The project started a couple of years ago when Scott Hayes, then still with Kerry Franklin at University of Bristol, reached out to me to write a research proposal. We discussed about abiotic stress interactions with shade avoidance, involved salt stress expert Christa Testerink in our discussion and Scott indeed won an EMBO long-term Fellowship to perform this research. Towards the end, I could fund Scott for a little longer from my Vidi grant. Through the years we involved a number of additional collaborators, including the labs of Rob Schuurink and Salomé Prat for additional analyses and tools, which altogether resulted in a paper that we are all very proud of. We show how different environmental inputs are integrated to coordinate developmental plasticity in plants. In this specific example, salt induces the ABA hormone pathway, which subsequently suppresses the Brassinosteroid pathway needed for full expression of the shade avoidance response.
Scott has meanwhile moved on to join the lab of Salomé Prat in Madrid, stay tuned for his great work!

See the Utrecht University news release here.


Hayes S, Pantazopoulou CK, van Gelderen K, Reinen E, Tween AL, Sharma A, de Vries M, Prat S, Scuurink RC, Testerink C and Pierik R (2019) Soil salinity limits plant shade avoidance, Current Biology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.042.

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