STSM4 Report Gonzalo Soriano

Molecular responses of Bryophytes to UV-B

Gonzalo Soriano Sancha visited Prof. Gareth Jenkins in Glasgow (29 days in February/March 2014)

I have spent one month lasting STSM in the Brian Laboratory of the Institute of Molecular, Cell and System Biology in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland), under the supervision of Prof. Gareth Jenkins.

My main objective was to obtain the knowledge of the techniques used to study the molecular responses of plants to UV radiation, to thereby be able to apply them to future studies about the responses in bryophytes. For this aim, I attended a 4-week lab class on molecular biology/genetics taught by Prof. Gareth Jenkins, that allowed me to understand the basis of the genetic expression regulation and learn the necessary techniques for studying it.

With this previous aim accomplished, we wanted to start studying the molecular responses of bryophytes to UV-B radiation using Physcomitrella patens (a moss) and Marchantia polymorpha (a liverwort) as model organisms, given that the former has been fully sequenced and the latter will shortly be so. For this aim we focused on two different lines:

- To identify UVR8 genes in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha.

- To study the expression of genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis, like a possible response triggered by UV-B radiation.

Samples of both species were cultivated for two weeks and then, half of them irradiated using UV lamps. RNA of irradiated and non-irradiated samples, was isolated and checked by spectrophotometry and then cDNA was synthesised.

Primers for each candidate gene were designed and tested in cDNA of both species to see whether there was any genetic response due to UV radiation.

Also, extraction and immunodetection of UVR8 protein were done in Physcomitrella and Marchantia.

Due to the STSM, a linkage has started between laboratories and I got some knowledge that will influence future experiments for my PhD.