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Maria Victoria Gomez Roldan

Maria Victoria Gomez Roldan

session, year:
2017 2nd


Receiving laboratory:
Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants Tel Aviv University (TAU), Tel Aviv

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Mobility project

Genome-Scale Editing Screen with a Solanum CRISPR Library to Identify the Genetic Network Controlling by the WIP Transcription Factor

Recently, the CRISPR/Cas9 system emerged as the most important tool for genome engineering due to its success to generate stable mutations in a steadily growing number of species. Due to the simple structure of the system, some CRISPR/ Cas9 mutant libraries have been developed for genome-wide mutation screens in cultured eukaryotic cells. However, this approach has poorly tested in higher plants. The group of Dr. Adi Avni (Israel) has generated a high-throughput CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNAs library targeting the 30000 genes of the tomato genome. The tomato sgRNA library will allow generating a genome- wide targeted mutagenesis in the tomato cell lines; and screen for cellular phenotypes resulting from genetic aberrations. In the Cucurbits family, the expression of the CmWIP1 gene leads to carpel abortion, resulting in the development of unisexual male flowers. In Arabidopsis, overexpression of AtWIP1 and AtWIP2 results also in plant growth’s arrest, suggesting that WIP proteins are developmental repressors. So far, very few is known about the molecular function of this family of transcription factors (C2H2 zing fingers) and its implication during evolution in land plants. Published transcriptomics data indicated that SlWIP1 and SlWIP2 are both expressed in tomato inflorescences, unopen and open flowers buds, respectively, but any functionally validation have been provided for these proteins in tomato. In collaboration with Dr. Avni, we have transformed tomato cells that overexpress SlWIP1 and SlWIP2 and the goal of this project is to screen for signalling genes required for WIP function using a tomato sgRNA library. This collaboration will allow combining the expertise of both laboratories in plant transformation, genetic screening, translation research, high-throughput analysis and next generation sequencing.

Biography & research interests

During my PhD I contributed to the discovery of a new plant hormone, the strigolactones, which control plant architecture but also have an important role as signal molecules during plant-microorganisms interactions (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and parasitic plants). During my post-doctoral experience (The Netherlands) I worked in the study of genes involved in biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolites (phenylpropanoids) using the model plant, tomato. In 2012, I was awardeda Marie Curie Fellowship (IEF) and joined the group of Dr. Bendahmane (INRA, France). I studied a family of transcription factors (WIPs) involved in sex determination in melon flowers. Using a combination of RNA-seq and CHIP-seq approaches we elucidated the molecular network behind the WIP proteins in Arabidopsis which repress post-embryonic development and suggested that a similar mechanism is conserved across plant species. Since 2015, I am permanent CNRS researcher at the Institute of Plant Science Paris Saclay (IPS2) interested on implemented genomic and genetics approaches to identify genes controlling inflorescence architecture in Solanaceaes, an important family of crop plants, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

Selected publications

Gomez Roldan MV, Périlleux C, Morin H, HuergaFernandez S, Latrasse D, Benhamed M, Bendahmane A., 2017. Natural and induced loss of function mutations in SlMBP21 MADS-box gene led to jointless-2 phenotype in tomato. Scientific Reports, 7(1):4402. Doi: 10.1038/ s41598-017-04556-1.

Astola L, Stigter H, Gomez Roldan MV, van Eeuwijk F, et al., 2016. Parameter estimation in tree graph metabolic networks. PeerJ, 4:e2417. Doi: 10.7717/peerj.2417.

Gomez Roldan MV, Outchkourov N, Houwelingen A, Lammers M, Romero de la Fuente I, Ziklo N, Aharoni A, Hall RD, Beekwilder J., 2014. An O-methyltransferase modifies accumulation of methylated anthocyanins in tomato. The Plant Journal, 80(4):695-708.

Gomez Roldan MV, Bas E, de Vos RCH, Astola L, Groeneboom M, van de Geest H, Bovy A, Molenaar J, ven Eeuwijk F, Hall R., 2014. Metabolomics reveals organspecific metabolic rearrangements during early tomato seedling development. Metabolomics, 10 (5), 958-974.

Outchkourov N, Carollo C, Gomez-Roldan MV, de Vos R, Bosch D, Hall RD and Beekwilder J., 2014. Control of anthocyanin and non-flavonoid compounds by anthocyanin-regulating MYB and bHLH transcription factors in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Frontiers in Plant Science. Doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00519.



Tomato, CRISPR-Cas9, genetic screening, development, transcription factor