Abiotic Stresses: Plant hormones in environmental signaling

This lecture will illustrate the Plant hormones in environmental signaling landscape, specially focused on the hormonal response to abiotic stress.


It is part of the training of doctoral students from the EpiSeedLink consortium.



Fellows will learn among other topics about:

    • What are plant hormones?
    • How hormones help plants to cope with the environment throughout their life
    • How hormones participates in development processes in plants
    • Hormonal responses to abiotic stress


The conference is given by Dr. David Alabadí, one of the EpiSeedLink Supervisors, belonging to Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP), research center from CSIC (Spain).



Frontal Image designed by Freepick (www.freepick.es)

Agrobacterum tumefaciens: a bacteria for genetic transformation plants

The phytopathogenic gram negative bacterial species Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a causal agent of crown-gall disease in plants, which is accompanied by tumor formation on plant roots.



Agrobacterium tumefaciens infects the plant through its Ti plasmid. The Ti plasmid integrates a segment of its DNA, known as T-DNA, into the chromosomal DNA of its host plant cells.



The vir region of Ti plasmid is not transferred to the host cell. This contains seven loci encoding for most of the virulence proteins (Vir proteins) required for T-DNA transport and integration into host genome.


T-DNA regions are delineated by two repeats (25 bp), designated as left and right borders. These regions contain genes which encode for proteins involved in biosynthesis of plant-type hormones and opine.


Immediately upon its discovery, the unique virulence strategy of Agrobacterium attracted attention of plant biotechnologists leading to the adaptation of Agrobacterium as an unprecedented tool for genetic transformation of plants.


Since the T-DNA region is determined only by delineating the left and right borders and not by any other DNA sequence, virtually any type of DNA can be placed between the borders and utilized for plant transformation.




Text by Stefania Paltrinieri, PhD students EpiSeedLink Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


Did you know that there are various methods to create transgenic plants?


To insert exogenous DNA into plant cells, there is not only Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (indirect method), as we show you in the last post, but also chemical-physical methods (direct methods):


✅Permeabilisation of protoplasts
✅ Gene gun
Agrobacterium tumefaciens




Text by Martina Curci, PhD students EpiSeedLink Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Frontal image by <a href=”https://www.freepik.es/vector-gratis/concepto-biotecnologia-plana-cientificos_13176506.htm#fromView=search&page=3&position=50&uuid=d8147a2c-f51e-479a-be7a-6e9a18e9b0a2″>Imagen de freepik</a>

Studying genes and transformation plants

When we want to study the role of a gene, we can alter its expression; for example: silencing or suppressing the gene or improving its expression using a strong and constitutively expressed promoter.

Genetic engineering is a powerful research tool, and it also has the potential to improve the agronomic performance of crops, for these reasons, it has been largely studied and a lot of different techniques have been developed in recent years.

So how do we transform plants?

Transformation is a complex process, it may be transient or stable, depending on the biological question and purpose.

Generally, transformation involves:

  • the preparation of explants,
  • delivery of genes of interest into plant cells mainly via:
  • Agrobacterium or
  • biolistic-mediated methods,
  • the selection and regeneration of transgenic or gene-edited plants.



Text by Stefania Paltrinieri, PhD Student EpiSeedLink Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Frontal image by <a href="https://www.freepik.es/vector-gratis/concepto-biotecnologia-gradiente-investigador_13176503.htm#fromView=search&page=1&position=8&uuid=dd08f069-784b-4102-a785-4cd12126319a">Imagen de freepik</a>

8th of March, International Women`s Day

EpiSeedLink´s members wish you a happy International Women´s Day




Frontal Image by <a href="https://www.freepik.es/vector-gratis/plantilla-publicacion-redes-sociales-dia-internacional-mujer-degradado_22113362.htm#fromView=search&page=1&position=43&uuid=e7b51a4f-85b7-4eb4-a901-c896f22848a9">Imagen de freepik</a>

Interesting Workshop organized by our Supervisors¡

Some of our Supervisors are organizing two interesting Workshops:

1.- The European Workshop on Plant Chromatin 2024.  

Dr. Sara Farrona from the University of Galway (Ireland) and Dr. Javier Gallego-Bartolomé from the Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas_IBMCP (Valencia, Spain) are involved in the organization of this Workshop with plenty of opportunities to show your work. It will be held at Casa de Convalescència, a beautiful 19th-century building part of the Sant Pau Hospital Art Nouveau complex, in Barcelona on May 22th-24th.

Only a few days left to apply! Submit your abstract for #EWPC2024.

Deadline: 8th March. Join us in Barcelona for three days of exciting discussions about epigenetics and chromatin regulation in plants 

All the information on European Workshop on Plant Chromatin 2024 – EWPC2024 (uab.cat)

2.- EPIPLANT/ Society for Experimental Biology. Joint Conference

Dr. ALine Probst from the University of Clermont_Auvergne (Clermont Ferrand, France) is organizing with her colleagues a conference which will be held in Clermont Ferrand on July, 12th-14th. You will be able to share your work and discuss it with experts in the matter.

EPIPLANT/SEB 2024 is a joint meeting of the CNRS Groupement de Recherche (GDR) EPIPLANT and the Society For Experimental Biology.

Deadline: 30th April.  Join us in Clermont-Ferrand for other three days of exciting discussions about plant epigenetics, chromatin dynamics, environmental responses and transgenerational inheritance

All the information on EpiPlant/SEB2024


Frontal image by <a href="https://www.freepik.es/vector-gratis/vector-coleccion-gente-negocios_2803290.htm#&position=33&from_view=search&track=ais&uuid=67c1b129-eb1c-4e8c-a960-63bd755f049c">Imagen de rawpixel.com</a> en Freepik

March EpiSeedLink Agenda

EpiSeedLInk´s team will be in Paris in March 2024. We will celebrate our I Annual Meeting, and also around this meeting the fellows will continue learning, performing several training courses.

All these activities will be held at the Hotel La Villa Modigliani in Paris from the 8th until the 20th of March.



  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Fellows will be trained in data protection (informed consent, data storage, Data Management Plan), intellectual property (IP); protection modalities, IPR management plans, exploitation of results), consortium agreements, confidentiality, publications, responsibility, and jurisdiction, and will be introduced to the value of IP, and how to develop IP strategies with an emphasis on plant breeders’ rights and plant varieties. The training is a mix of theoretical classes, which will be online, and practical exercises, which will be face-to-face in Paris. The trainers are Amaya Mallea, José Luis Erdozain, and Isabel Marco from PONS.

  • Presentation training course

This is an intensive, hands-on training course on how to give an Audience-focused Presentation in English to colleagues in the field. Afterwards, the Fellows can deliver their research clearly, in a confident and compelling manner. The trainers are Märiel Vaartjes and Karin Herrenbout from Moile Moile. 

  • Scientific Writing.

Through discussions, exercises, homework, and detailed feedback, the Fellows will learn the principles of scientific writing and how to write an audience-targeted text. The Fellows will be equipped with writing tools as well as a road map to help them write their next scientific article efficiently. The trainer is Dr Brian Cusack from Scientific Craft. 

  • Public engagement (PE).

To create awareness among the general public of the value of scientific research, Cell EXPLORERS (CE, www.cellexplorers.com; UoG) will train Fellows in PE. The training includes previous online theoretical and hands-on sessions on general aspects and different formats of PE in science including online practical sessions with children. But now, in Paris, the Fellows will be trained to create educational material for children’s activities delivered to schools/groups. Specifically, Fellows will together prepare materials (e.g. background information, instructions, practical materials) to create a Seed Germination Kit to engage young people in plant science.


Frontal Image by <a href="https://www.freepik.es/psd-gratis/plano-agenda-negocios_2573813.htm#fromView=search&page=4&position=23&uuid=d5e63b44-d8fd-4e19-8c93-c5f53e0a6f84">Imagen de rawpixel.com en Freepik</a>

How do plants tell time?


Continuing thinking about plant curiosities, another question is: How do plants tell time?



1- We must be on time

Some flowers open their petals at specific times of the day. Some plants move their leaves up during the day, and move their leaves down during the night. These and other plants' events happen at specific times of the day and follow the internal clock of the plants.


2- The clock works on its own

The internal clock of plants is called the circadian clock. This is a molecular mechanism independent of environmental cues. Then, even if the plant is in constant light or darkness, the plant will still move its leaves up during the period of the day, and down during the period of the night, for example.


3- YOU ARE LATE!!!!!!

The main function of the circadian clock in plants is to anticipate the day and night and the cycles of temperature during one day. So everything happens at the right time. When the plants anticipate wrong… well, they may have a decrease in productivity, survival, and fitness.



The main references are:





Text and video by Maira Marins Dourado, PhD Student EpiSeedLink Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Frontal image by <a href="https://www.freepik.es/vector-gratis/ilustracion-concepto-resorte-adelante_137950301.htm#fromView=search&page=3&position=26&uuid=dbed3ed9-1c24-4a59-85d1-919eeef55494">Imagen de storyset en Freepik</a>

February EpiSeedLink Agenda

EpiSeedLink resumes the training courses in February.

Episeedlink´s fellows will learn about Video development for Public engagement.

Sara Farrona, one of our EpiSeedLink Supervisors,  and Niall Flaherty, one expert in the field, both from the University of Galway have been working on preparation for the training.

The training will include the lecture ” The History of Life Project” by John Murray, a guest speaker.

Videos are versatile tools for learning and teaching and are key for public engagement tools.

This course will teach how to create novel Public Engagement material in the form of moving images to trigger fascination about plants and agricultural sciences.

Through theoretical and practical sessions, the Fellows will be trained in storyboard creation and video recording.

Finally, in teams, they will produce 4 public engagement videos that will be shown in our Annual Meeting, and used for public engagement activities.


11th of February, International Day of Women and Girsl in Science

EpiSeedLink wishes you a happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Today, we honor the invaluable contributions of women and girls in the field of science.

From groundbreaking discoveries to innovative research, their dedication and intellect have reshaped our understanding of the world.




Frontal image by <a href="https://www.freepik.es/vector-gratis/dia-internacional-mujeres-ninas-ciencia_133721452.htm#query=international%20day%20women%20and%20grils%20science&position=