Life history traits in contrasting environments - intraspecies variation in stress tolerance

ESR 7B – António da Costa Teixeira

I concluded my BSc in Aplied Biology and the MSc in Plant Molecular Biology and Biothecnology in the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal. The BSc research project was fucosed in the enzimatic activities of DHAPS in grape berry cells cv Cabenet Sauvignon (Vitis vinifera). In the following years I kept my interest in Plant Biology, in particular in Viticulture. My master dissertation aimed to evaluate how edaphoclimatic conditions affect the metabolomic profile of the grapes (cv Alvarinho, Arinto and Padeiro Basto) from three Portuguese varieties from distinct ampelographic collections. This work result in two publications. Also during the master years I had the oportunity to colaborate in another project that comprise the understanding of the effect of copper-based fungicides in the composition of grape berries cv. Vinhão(Vitis vinifera) and wine, studying the mechanisms involved in I nitial T raining N etwork NASSTEC Newsletter, issue 1 October 2014 13 the accumulation and detoxification of copper in grape cells.

Samples were collected from plants treated with the copper-based fungicide and from control vines under the same microclimate conditions, and an extensive metabolomic analysis was performed. My active collaboration in this work comprised the planning and application of copper in field treatments, RNA extraction and expression of genes by qPCR and metabolomic analysis. These work was already published in two papers. Lately I also have been invited to review the work of other researchers in journals as American Journal of Enology and Viticulture and Plos One. My research area of interest is the effect of the environment in plants. Environmental factors such as cold, draught or high temperature have important role in seed germination and plant fitness. To increase our knowledge in these issues, I am interested in the identification of plant genes involved in stress tolerance and witch stress type up or down regulate these genes. Also the identification of metabolic steps responsible for the production of key metabolites triggered by the stress is subject of my interest to understand the mechanisms involved in the plant protection. My previous work gives me not only the idea of the complex interactions between plants and environment but also the importance of the microenvironment surrounding these plants. The NASSTEC program interested me due the multi environment and plant species studied in this program, whose objective is the grassland habitats restoration in Europe. Also the multidisciplinary approaches namely seed molecular physiology, biophysics applied at plant stress studies are of particular interest. Work in RBG, in strait interaction with other partners of the project is a unique opportunity to increase my knowledge in plant research.