Seminarios IHSM La Mayora - Victoria Sánchez Vera (IHSM La Mayora UMA-CSIC)

Title: Fruit ripening mediated by cellular recycling: a novel role of autophagy during plant development Abstract Autophagy is a catabolic process required for the recycling of cellular components and essential for cell homeostasis. Autophagy is active at a basal level under normal conditions but can be induced in response to several stresses and during certain developmental programs. In plants, autophagy has been related to programmed cell death during embryogenesis or vascular tissue formation, to cell differentiation during gametogenesis and dedifferentiation in callus proliferation or to leave senescence. Recently, we have determined that autophagy is an active process during strawberry ripening and that it undergoes induction at the white and red stage. Furthermore, the genetic or biochemical blockage of autophagy severely affects strawberry ripening. Finally, we have identified putative regulators of autophagy during this developmental process in an effort to characterize this pathway during ripening which could be of great interest from a biotechnology point of view. Altogether, our results provide evidence of a new role for autophagy during plant development. Biography Victoria Sanchez Vera did her PhD at University of Malaga studying the role of autophagy during plant development, in particular the two faces of autophagy as a pro-death and pro-life pathway during Picea abies somatic embryogenesis and Arabidopsis lifespan and fitness. In 2014, shortly after finishing her PhD, she joined the Uppsala Biocenter at Swedish University of Agricultural Science as plant autophagy expert where she elucidated the role of autophagy in plant cell differentiation during gametogenesis in the early land plant model Physcomitrium patens and contributed to the knowledge of the molecular basis driving plant gametogenesis establishment. In 2019, she started with a Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship a new research line at IHSM-UMA-CSIC studying the role of autophagy during the ripening of strawberry. In 2021, she was awarded a Joven Investigador project from the Spanish Research Agency that has allowed her to establish as totally independent scientist at IHSM-UMA-CSIC.