dr. MA (Mariana) Silva Artur

dr. MA (Mariana) Silva Artur

Assistant Professor

There is no life without water, a truth applicable to all living beings. Nevertheless, some organisms possess an incredible ability to survive even after losing almost all of their cellular water. My major research interest is understanding how plants can endure extreme water loss from their cells, a phenomenon known as Desiccation Tolerance (DT).

During my MSc (UFLA/Brasil) and PhD at the Laboratory of Plant Physiology (PPH) at WUR, I investigated various physiological, molecular, and genomic responses to desiccation in orthodox seeds and resurrection plants. I discovered that, over their evolutionary history, plants developed a powerful toolkit to protect themselves from the damages caused by drying. This toolkit includes the production of cell-protective proteins called Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins.

In my first postdoc (UU/NL), I delved into another component of this 'drying protection toolkit' found in the roots of many plant species—the exodermis and its drought-induced suberization. In 2020, I rejoined PPH as a postdoc at the Wageningen Seed Science Centre, contributing to the Seeds for the Future Initiative (SftF) to integrate seed science research, technology, and teaching. I also received an NWO ENW-Veni grant in 2020, allowing me to investigate multiple levels of regulation of DT acquisition during seed maturation.

Presently, I am an Assistant Professor at PPH, leading the 'Seed Resilience Group.' Our approach at the systems level combines experimental physiology, bioinformatics, and molecular biology techniques to investigate the mechanisms of seed resilience and survival under extreme conditions such as desiccation and high temperature.

Website: https://www.mariana-artur.com/