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Physiological and gene expression profiles for early selection of Eucalyptus globulus in a climate change context

Project: Research


Understanding plant resistance to stress is crucial to improve forest management and breeding techniques under a climate change scenario that forecasts a worldwide increase in aridity. The new tools operating at ecosystem, plant performance, proteomic and molecular levels are revolutionizing our understanding of plant responses to drought and the possibilities to monitor it.
The focus of this study is to investigate genetic plasticity for drought-stress response in Eucalyptus globulus exploiting its genetic variability through the study of morphological, physiological/ biochemical, proteomic and gene expression traits related with water deficits. Preventing extensive production losses due to drought in Eucalyptus plantations is an important issue considering the economical importance of this species, the large area occupied worldwide (in Portugal E. globulus occupies more than 700,000 ha) and the plausible scenarios of climate change, predicting increasing of water stress in the Mediterranean region.
This project aims to contribute to interconnect information on the mediating processes of drought tolerance from gene regulation to physiological responses. This approach will allow to collect a wide range of data, from gene/protein expression to plant performance of E. globulus, useful for breeding programs to incorporate physiological and/or molecular indicators to support early selection within a scenario of climate changes.
To achieve this objective, the Ecophysiolyptus Research Team is a young, dynamic and multidisciplinary team that includes physiologists, proteomic, molecular biologists, soil quality and forest ecosystems monitorization, tree biotechnology and forest ecophysiology expertises, as well as the interest of industry stakeholders.
Effective start/end date1/04/1131/08/14
  • Amaral, Joana (Researcher)
  • Pinto, Glória (Principal Investigator)