Joint Calls

Molecular mechanisms of abiotic stress-induced senescence in plants

  • Acronym AbioSen
  • Duration 36
  • Project leader Müller-Röber,Bernd (PL),Germany Potsdam U
  • Other project participants van Breusegem, Frank Belgium U Ghent / Gent
    Gechev, Tsanko Bulgaria "Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
    (IMBB), Plovdiv"
    Hörtensteiner, Stefan Switzerland U Zürich
  • Funding
  • Total Granted budget ca. € 638.600


Abiotic stress factors like extreme temperatures, dehydration, starvation, and darkness, can induce
premature senescence in most plants. Exceptions are e.g. desiccation-tolerant plant species like
Haberlea rhodopensis. In these, abiotic stress induced senescence is delayed or abolished. Our
knowledge on how a variety of stresses finally trigger the detrimental senescence process is still
scarce. The main objective of the AbioSen project is to chart and study the intricate network that
integrates abiotic stress-derived signals into the senescence pathway. A multifaceted approach
including forward and reverse genetics, combined with high-throughput transcriptome, proteome, and
metabolome analyses will be implemented. AbioSen is organised in 4 work packages (WP): WP1,
Unravelling the gene regulatory networks of transcription factors (TFs) that modulate oxidativeand
abiotic stress-induced senescence in A. thaliana. The global gene regulatory networks of two
transcription factors (RD26, ATAF1) that are regulated by both senescence and oxidative/abiotic
stress and which control leaf senescence in dependence on abiotic (drought, salinity) stress will be
analysed through a combination of ChIP-seq, RNA-seq and ChIP-proteomics. WP2, Investigating the
gene regulatory network of chlorophyll breakdown during developmental and stress-induced
senescence in A. thaliana. TFs that target chlorophyll (Chl) catabolic genes will be identified and
characterized. The NAC factor SHYG was identified by P1 as an upstream regulator of CYP89A9. P2
demonstrated before that CYP89A9 is chlorophyll catabolic enzyme. Additional transcriptional
regulators will be identified through a concerted action of the consortium using genomics and a new
method for LC-MS-based metabolomics. This will allow the identification of diagnostic molecular and
metabolite markers for senescence induction in plants. WP3, Framing a genetic network of
hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death/senescence. Increased H2O2 levels trigger defence responses
and cell death. Causative mutations in ten available revertants obtained from EMS-mutagenized
catalase deficient Arabidopsis plants will be identified and functionally characterised in relation to
their stress responses and senescence phenotype. WP4, Molecular mechanisms of senescence in H.
rhodopensis. High-resolution temporal transcriptome and metabolome profiling of dark-induced
senescence in H. rhodopensis will be carried out to obtain an inventory of genes and metabolites
potentially involved in the senescence process. Genes encoding senescence-related proteins (including
the stay-green proteins that regulate Chl degradation) will be further studied using computational and
functional approaches. The integrated data from the 4 WPs will increase our knowledge about the
fundamental mechanisms that regulate plant senescence in dependence of abiotic stress and will
provide valuable insights for future crop breeding.
Back to ERA-CAPS Funded Project list


Supported by