Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Marta García León

Marta García León, first author of Stomatal aperture and turnover of ABA receptors are regulated by Arabidopsis ALIX

Current Position: PhD candidate in Dr. Vicente Rubio’s lab, at the Spanish National Center of Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC)

Education: BSc in Biology at the Complutense University (Madrid) and MSc in Agroforestry Biotechnology at the Polytechnic University in Madrid (UPM, Madrid)

Non-scientific interests: Traveling, reading, painting, photography, cooking, hiking… and above all spending time with family and friends.

Brief bio: My parents taught me to love nature since I was a toddler, so becoming a biologist was something likely to happen. Plant biology has always fascinated me but during my Bachelor´s degree, when I started studying the molecular basis underlying every plant developmental process I got mesmerized. I especially liked plant hormone signaling pathways; and how they allow plants to adapt to the changing environment. This is the reason why I decided to join Dr. Vicente Rubio’s lab, to study the molecular mechanisms that regulate plant responses to the so-called water stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA). The main focus of the laboratory at that time was the study of the function of nuclear CRL4 CDDD E3 ubiquitin ligases in controlling ABA-related processes. However, a bit in a serendipitous way, I took charge of a project to study the endosomal trafficking of the ABA receptors, involving the multi-functional ALIX protein, and I could not be luckier. I discovered that trafficking was my topic; it was so complex, fine-tuned and unexplored that it hooked me. For my future endeavors, I hope to contribute to unravel the molecular mechanisms that control vesicle trafficking and autophagy in plants.