Ana Laura Alonso-Nieves: Plant Direct First Author

Ana Laura Alonso-Nieves, first author of “The pho1;2a′-m1.1 allele of Phosphate1 conditions misregulation of the phosphorus starvation response in maize (Zea mays ssp. mays L.)”

Current Position: Postdoctoral researcher at Unidad de Genómica Avanzada LANGEBIO-CINVESTAV, Guanajuato, México.

Education: B.S. from University of Guadalajara in Jalisco, México; M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Unidad de Genómica Avanzada LANGEBIO-CINVESTAV in Guanajuato, México.

Non-scientific Interests: Reading, running, cat lover.

Brief bio: I was born in Michoacán, México, but I lived in Jalisco, México, until I finished my B.S. as a Biologist. I moved to Guanajuato, where I got my master’s and doctor’s degrees under the supervision of Dr. Ruairidh J. Sawers and Dr. C. Stewart Gillmor. During my postgraduate studies, I was focused on studying the function of duplicated maize genes and their role in nutrient starvation responses at phenotypic and genomic levels. This article reports that ZmPho1;2a, a co-ortholog of the AtPHO1 gene, has a relevant role in fine-tuning the transcriptional response to phosphate starvation through maintenance and/or sensing of plant phosphate status. In the future, I would like to characterize the paralogous ZmPho1;2b gene to further investigate functional divergence and redundancy. Currently, I am working on isolating root and rhizosphere microbiomes from traditional Mexican maize varieties to compare recruitment of microbial communities, and to analyze their contributions to plant adaptation and performance.