The defensive arsenal of plant roots

Visualization of suberin (induced toward the root tip at the bottom) in Arabidopsis thaliana, with an intensity-stained gradient.

Plants adapt to their nutritional needs by modifying the permeability of their roots through the production or degradation of a cork-like layer called suberin. By studying the regulation of this protective layer in Arabidopsis thaliana, Marie Barberon‘s group has discovered four molecular factors responsible for the genetic activation of suberin. The identification of these factors allowed the production of plants with roots that are continuously covered – or, on the contrary, completely devoid – of suberin. These factors are of major interest for the selection of plants more resistant to environmental stresses.

The article was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), on September 21st 2021.

Check out the UNIGE press release.