dr. MA (Mariana) Silva Artur

dr. MA (Mariana) Silva Artur

Onderzoeker

There is no life without water, and that is true for all living organisms. I find it incredible that some organisms still can survive losing almost all their cellular water, an ability called Desiccation Tolerance (DT). My major research interest is on understanding how plants can survive the loss of water from their cells and remain alive in the dry state. During my MSc. (UFLA/Brasil) and PhD (WUR/NL) I have investigated several physiological, molecular, and genomic responses to DT in orthodox seeds and resurrection plants. I have found that, during their evolution, plants developed a very powerful toolkit to protect themselves against the damages caused by drying, including the production of cell protective proteins called Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins. In my first postdoc (UU/NL) I investigated another component of this 'drying protection toolkit' which is found in the roots of many plant species, the exodermis and its drought-induced suberization. I am now a postdoc at the Plant Physiology group working on the Seeds for the Future Initiative (SftF), where I am involved in seed science research, technology, and teaching. Through an NWO-Veni grant I am developing my own research program focused on understanding the regulation of DT. I want to combine my knowledge on physiology and genomics, with biochemical and biophysical information of desiccation tolerant cells, to use appropriate molecular biology techniques in order understand how cell protection and survival in the dry state can contribute to longevity in seeds and improve drought tolerance in plants.