PlantStressLab - MITIWOOD

Holistic understanding of xylem recovery from water stress to mitigate future climate impact on woody plants

Even though the study of tension in xylem spans over 200 years, the notion of recovery from embolism is relatively new (25 years) and hotly debated. A full understanding of the biology behind embolism recovery is currently lacking, although several proposals of how this could occur have recently been provided. Until now, no systematic research integrating different scientific disciplines (ie. biophysics, molecular biology and eco-physiology) has been conducted on trees. Moreover, no studies expressly focused on the involvement of 1) cellular processes and membrane protein activities and 2) gene expression and role, in restoration of xylem hydraulic capacity following embolism formation have been carried out to date.

MitiWood main GOALS:

1- to determine the biological activity of plant vessels/parenchyma complex during xylem embolism formation and subsequent restoration of hydraulic conductivity under different climate conditions.

2- to characterize the key genes triggering tolerance mechanisms to embolism.

Principal investigator: Francesca Secchi

Progetti di ricerca di Ateneo – Anno 2016- 'Excellent Young PI"

Project starts April 2017, duration 30 months

Financial support: Unito- Compagnia San Paolo