Daniele Rosado, first author of Downregulation of PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 influences plant development and fruit production
Current Position: PhD student in the group of Prof. Magdalena Rossi at the Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo
Education: B.Sc. in Biology, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Non-scientific Interests: bouldering, space, and hot beverages
Brief bio: I am interested in the molecular mechanisms regulating tomato fruit production and nutritional quality. As an undergraduate student, I joined Prof. Rossi’s group to work on the characterization of plants with altered chlorophyll catabolism. We found that carbon allocation and metabolism of isoprenoid-derived compounds, as carotenoids and tocopherols, was affected in these plants. During my PhD, considering the importance of light for several metabolic and developmental processes, I identified and characterized the Phytochrome-Interacting Factors (PIFs) in tomato genome. In this context, I found that PIF3 represses tocopherol biosynthesis, therefore affecting tomato nutritional quality in response to light conditions. In the present article, I characterized PIF4-silenced plants and found significant impacts in fruit size, number, nutraceutical composition and ripening time. As the next step in my career, I am aiming to further explore the potential of PIFs for crop improvement in the context of climate change.