15 March 2017
Cristina Rioja - new postdoc in epigenetics
Cristina Rioja commenced as postdoc at DynaMo Center in January 2017. Cristina will study how plants upon herbivore attacks are able to prime new generations for a further induction of plant defensive genes by imprinting epigenetic modifications.
Cristina Rioja holds a BSc in Biology from University of Salamanca, Spain, an MSc in Biotechnology from University of Pamplona, Spain, and a PhD in Biology, from University of Salamanca, Spain. Since January 2017 she is a postdoc at DynaMo Center.
During a postdoc at The University of Western Ontario, Cristina studied the molecular mechanisms underlying how plants, upon Spider Mite feeding, are able to prime systemically the distal parts of the plant to prevent and warming undamaged tissues of the attack. This priming effect confers resistance to unfed distal tissues in a second event of feeding due to a further induction of plant defense responsive genes.
From one generation to the next
“Recently, I have become fascinated on how plants can transmit the epigenetic modifications triggered by environmental factors to their descendants to confer them resistance or tolerance against future stresses.”
At the DynaMo Center, Cristina studies how plants upon herbivory are able to prime new generations for a further induction of plant defensive genes by imprinting epigenetic modifications and she is a member of the regultion subgroup.
Cristina’s project aims to identify novel genes involved in epigenetic inheritance after herbivore attack and investigate whether differential DNA methylation patterns impact the glucosinolate defense compounds.