Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid produced by animals and plants, but is its function conserved across kingdoms? In mammals, GABA acts as chemical messenger in the central nervous system by inhibiting neurotransmission. In plants, GABA accumulates in response to stress but its role in cellular communication is still unresolved. In this study, […]
Author Archive for: mosnato
About Michela Osnato
I completed my studies at the University of Milan (ITALY), first with a M.S. in Plant Biotechnology and then with a PhD in Plant Biology and crop productivity.
The plasticity of plant development has always fascinated me. For this reason, I decided to investigate Gene Regulatory Networks underlying the development of vegetative and reproductive organs in model species and cereal crops. Recently, I have focused my research on the crosstalk between phytohormones and regulatory genes in plant adaptation to climate change (e.g. elevated ambient temperature, water limitation, soil salinity). The long-term goal is to use novel findings to obtain plant varieties characterized by improved climate resilience.
Despite thinking of myself as a motivated biotechnologist, my interest for public engagement progressively swayed me towards the participation in different outreach activities. Among others, I developed my own science communication project and disseminated science using Social networks (@secretlifeofaplantbiologist).
I am currently a member of the Plantae fellow program and regularly contribute to Science News stories with summaries and graphical abstracts.
Entries by Michela Osnato
One of the most fascinating challenges in developmental biology is to understand how a few stem cells hidden in a microscopic region of the shoot apex give origin to all aerial parts of the plant. Technological advances such as single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) are enabling the comprehensive analysis of heterogeneous cell populations with unprecedent resolution. Zhang […]
In maize (Zea mays), loss of function mutations in genes involved in starch biosynthesis characterize sweet corn varieties that have increased sugar content in the kernel. Specifically, lines carrying the shrunken2 (sh2) allele revolutionized the corn industry in Northern America in the last 50 years thanks to improved quality traits and shelf life. Besides the […]
Gibberellin (GA) controls multiple developmental processes throughout the plant life cycle, from seed germination to flowering. In Arabidopsis, GA also regulates division of meristematic cells at the tip of the root and cell elongation in the growing zone. Despite its importance, little is known about the events that generate the GA gradient that drives growth […]
Jasmonate (JA) coordinates plant development and response to a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. JA production is stimulated by wounding, which damages cell walls, and increased in plants carrying mutations in cellulose biosynthetic genes. Nevertheless, the intracellular events connecting mechanical stress and JA production largely remain unresolved. In a forward genetic screen aimed […]
Angiosperms synchronize the floral transition with optimal internal and external conditions such as daylength to maximize reproductive success. Despite the wealth of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms controlling flowering time, little is known about the cellular events that occur as the vegetative meristem converts into a reproductive meristem. Here, Kinoshita and coworkers combined confocal microscopy […]
Vilarrasa-Blasi and coworkers described their impressive work on a huge barcoded Chlamydomonas collection, in which they screened almost 60,000 insertion mutants grown under a wide range of environmental and chemical stress conditions. The authors assessed genotype-phenotype specificity for almost 80% of C. reinhardtii genes, represented by one or multiple allelic variants, and shed new light […]
Auxin shapes the plant body and drives the formation of lateral organs such as roots and ovules. In the current model, AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) are transcription factors that regulate plant growth by activating signaling in an auxin dose-dependent manner, regulated by Aux/IAA proteins. Here, Cucinotta and coworkers demonstrate a new twist on this paradigm, […]
Global warming and intensive farming are increasing soil salinity, which is predicted to affect 30% of cultivated land by 2050. Salinity represents a major threat for agriculture as most crops drastically reduce their growth and productivity in saline environments. Understanding the strategies used by halophytes (salt-tolerant plants) and transferring them to glycophytes (salt-intolerant plants) could […]