My research focusses on two different areas using the plant model system Arabidopsis thaliana, and more recently hybrid aspen and Norway spruce. The first project which is developed at the Umeå Plant Science Center, aims at tackling the regulation of adventitious root initiation, which is a key limiting step during vegetative propagation of economically important tree species.
The second aspect, which started at the UPSC, but is now pursued in the CATS group (Carbon Allocation Transport and Signaling) headed by Dr. Sylvie Dinant at the Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute (IJPB, from the INRAE centre in Versailles, France) focus more specifically on sugar transport and carbon allocation, and their role on plant development and interaction with the environment.
Photo: Catherine Bellini

Deciphering molecular cross-talks that control adventitious root initiation

Adventitious roots (AR) are roots that develop on any organs but roots and are required for vegetative propagation of plants. Their initiation and development are limiting steps for the clonal propagation of many economically important tree species. They initiate from differentiated cells of aerial plant organs following several steps that include cell dedifferentiation, reprogramming, division and differentiation. Adventitious rooting is a quantitative genetic trait with a high phenotypic plasticity due to multiple endogenous and environmental regulatory factors. We used Arabidopsis as a model system to decipher the molecular cross-talks that control AR initiation. We have identified regulatory genes acting at several levels, including subunits of the COP9 signalosome (CSN) required for protein degradation, genes acting at the crosstalk of auxin, jasmonate and cytokinin signalling pathways. We are also interested in understanding how light signalling interacts with hormone signalling in the regulation of AR initiation. In parallel we study AR initiation in hybrid aspen, hybrid poplar and Norway spruce seedlings. In the frame of proof-of-concept projects we confirmed that the genes identified in the model system Arabidopsis, play a role in adventitious root formation in poplar cutting meaning that our basic research could lead to improvement of vegetative propagation of horticultural and forest species.

Left: Arabidopsis etiolated seedlings showing adventitious roots on the hypocotyl (adapted from Gutierrez et al 2009, Plant Cell); right: Adventitious roots on in vitro poplar cuttings (photo Sanaria Alallaq)Left: Arabidopsis etiolated seedlings showing adventitious roots on the hypocotyl (adapted from Gutierrez et al 2009, Plant Cell); right: Adventitious roots on in vitro poplar cuttings (photo: Sanaria Alallaq)TIR1/AFB2-Aux/IAA6/9/17-ARF6/8 and ARF17 signaling module is involved in the control of adventitious root initiation upstream of GH3.3, GH3.5 and GH3. (adapted from Lakehal et al. 2019; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2019.09.001)  (A) Adventitious root initiation is controlled by a subtle balance of ARF activators and repressor acting upstream of JA signaling (Gutierrez et al., 2012). Under steady-state conditions there is a balance between the positive regulators ARF6 and ARF8 and the negative regulator ARF17. The three ARFs are regulated at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels (Gutierrez et al., 2009) and their proteasome-dependent degradation possibly contributes to maintain their balance. IAA6, IAA9 and IAA17 protein repress the transcriptional activity of ARF6 and ARF8. The negative regulator ARF17 either interacts with ARF6 and/or ARF8 to inhibit their transcriptional activity or competes for the AuxRE elements in the promotors of the GH3 genes. TIR1 protein controls JA biosynthesis through a pathway yet to be identified. (B) When the auxin content increases the Aux/IAA proteins form an auxin coreceptor complex with TIR1 and/or AFB2 and are sent for degradation through the 26S proteasome. In this case, the transcriptional activity of ARF6 and ARF8 is released. Therefore, the balance is shifted towards the positive regulators and results in the induction of GH3 gene expression. The negative effect of TIR1 on JA biosynthesis is accentuated. The increased conjugation of JA by the three GH3 enzymes combined to the downregulation of JA biosynthesis will reduce the JA pool and subsequently downregulate JA signaling, resulting in increased AR initiation.TIR1/AFB2-Aux/IAA6/9/17-ARF6/8 and ARF17 signaling module is involved in the control of adventitious root initiation upstream of GH3.3, GH3.5 and GH3. (adapted from Lakehal et al. 2019; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2019.09.001)

Carbon allocation, transport and signaling (CATS team, IJPB)

In land plants, carbon allocation from the photosynthetic organs to the other organs is an integrative process enabling the plant to adjust the delivery of carbon and energetic resources depending on the plant development and environmental constraints. Thereby, carbon allocation coordinates use and storage of sugars at various scales, from the cell to the whole organism. Our goal is to determine, in the different plant organs, the mechanisms acting at a cellular, tissue and organ levels for the allocation of carbohydrates. We focus on the gene networks involved in this process and their coupling with other nutritional and developmental mechanisms, in relationship with adaptive anatomic and metabolic adjustments.

Left: Confocal image of a cross section of the basal part of the floral stem from a wild-type plant. The section was stained with blue alcian and Safranin O, and its autofluorescence was collected between 512-590 nm. (Photo: Rozenn Le Hir); right: The SWEET11-1 and SWEET12-1 genes are expressed in the phloem and the xylem tissues (Le Hir et al., 2015 Mol Plant 8, 11: 1687-1690) (A, B) pSWEET11:GUS and pSWEET12:GUS expression in floral stem section of five-week-old plants. GUS staining is indicated in blue and lignin stained by Phloroglucinol is shown in pink. (C, D) in situ hybridization of SWEET11 and SWEET12 mRNA in transverse sections of floral stems from six- or seven-week-old plants. Arrows point to cells expressing SWEET11 or SWEET12. ph: phloem, xy: xylem.Left: Confocal image of a cross section of the basal part of the floral stem from a wild-type plant. The section was stained with blue alcian and Safranin O, and its autofluorescence was collected between 512-590 nm. (Photo: Rozenn Le Hir); right: The SWEET11-1 and SWEET12-1 genes are expressed in the phloem and the xylem tissues (Le Hir et al., 2015 Mol Plant 8, 11: 1687-1690). ph: phloem, xy: xylem.

Publication list

  1. ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR 115 integrates jasmonate and cytokinin signaling machineries to repress adventitious rooting in Arabidopsis
    New Phytol. 2020 Jul 7 [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Conifers exhibit a characteristic inactivation of auxin to maintain tissue homeostasis
    New Phytol. 2020, 226(6):1753-1765
  3. Multiple Roles of Jasmonates in Shaping Rhizotaxis: Emerging Integrators
    Methods Mol Biol. 2020, 2085:3-22
  4. A bacterial assay for rapid screening of IAA catabolic enzymes
    Plant Methods. 2019 Nov 4 eCollection 2019
  5. A Molecular Framework for the Control of Adventitious Rooting by the TIR1/AFB2-Aux/IAA-Dependent Auxin Signaling in Arabidopsis
    Mol Plant. 2019, 12(11):1499-1514
  6. A DAO1-Mediated Circuit Controls Auxin and Jasmonate Crosstalk Robustness during Adventitious Root Initiation in Arabidopsis
    Int J Mol Sci. 2019: 20(18)
  7. Control of root meristem establishment in conifers
    PHYSIOLOGIA PLANTARUM 2019, 165(1):81-89
  8. Control of adventitious root formation: insights into synergistic and antagonistic hormonal interactions
    PHYSIOLOGIA PLANTARUM 2019, 165(1): 90-100
  9. Synchrotron FTIR and Raman spectroscopy provide unique spectral fingerprints for Arabidopsis floral stem vascular tissues
    J Exp Bot. 2019, 70(3):871-883
  10. Unravelling salt stress responses in two pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) genotypes
    ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM 2018, 40(9):172
  11. Control of adventitious root formation: Insights into synergistic and antagonistic hormonal interactions
    Physiol Plant. 2018 Aug 29 [Epub ahead of print]
  12. Control of root meristem establishment in conifers
    Physiol Plant. 2018 Jun 19  [Epub ahead of print]
  13. AtbHLH68 transcription factor contributes to the regulation of ABA homeostasis and drought stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana
    Physiol Plant. 2017, 160(3):312-327
  14. The Arabidopsis Cop9 signalosome subunit 4 (CNS4) is involved in adventitious root formation
    Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 4;7(1):628
  15. Disruption of the sugar transporters AtSWEET11 and AtSWEET12 affects vascular development and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis
    Mol Plant. 2015, 8(11):1687-1690
  16. A Novel Viable Allele of Arabidopsis CULLIN1 Identified in a Screen for Superroot2 Suppressors by Next Generation Sequencing-Assisted Mapping
    PLoS One. 2014 Jun 23;9(6):e100846
  17. Identification of new adventitious rooting mutants amongst suppressors of the Arabidopsis thaliana superroot2 mutation
    J. Exp. Bot. (2014) 65 (6): 1605-1618.
  18. Adventitious Roots and Lateral Roots: Similarities and Differences
    Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2014; 65:639-66
  19. Auxin is a central player in the hormone cross-talks that control adventitious rooting
    Physiol Plant. 2014, 151(1):83-96
  20. Gibberellins inhibit adventitious rooting in hybrid aspen and Arabidopsis by affecting auxin transport
    Plant J. 2014, 78(3):372-384
  21. ABCG9, ABCG11 and ABCG14 ABC transporters are required for vascular development in Arabidopsis
    The Plant Journal, 2013; 76(5):811-824
  22. Overexpression of the vacuolar sugar carrier AtSWEET16 modifies germination, growth and stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana
    Plant Physiol. 2013; 163(3):1338-52
  23. The plant-specific Dof transcription factors family: new players involved in vascular system development and functioning in Arabidopsis
    Front. Plant Sci., 29 May 2013
  24. Leaf Fructose Content Is Controlled by the Vacuolar Transporter SWEET17 in Arabidopsis
    Curr Biol. 2013 ;23 (8):697-702
  25. Rigal A, Yordanov YS, Perrone I, Karlberg A, Tisserant E, Bellini C, Busov VB, Martin F, Kohler A, Bhalerao R, Legué V
    The AINTEGUMENTA LIKE1 Homeotic Transcription Factor PtAIL1 Controls the Formation of Adventitious Root Primordia in Poplar
    Plant Physiol. 2012;160(4):1996-2006
  26. Gutierrez L, Mongelard G, Flokovác K, Păcurard DI, Nováka O, Staswick P, Kowalczyk M, Păcurar M, Demailly H, Geiss G, Bellini C
    Auxin Controls Arabidopsis Adventitious Root Initiation by Regulating Jasmonic Acid Homeostasis
    The Plant Cell June 2012 24(6): 2515-2527
  27. Castelain M, Le Hir R, Bellini C
    The non-DNA binding bHLH transcription factor PRE3/bHLH135/ATBS1/TMO7 is involved in the regulation of light signaling pathway in Arabidopsis
    Physiol Plant. 2012 Jul;145(3):450-60
  28. Pacurar DI, Pacurar ML, Street N, Bussell JD, Pop TI, Gutierrez L, Bellini C.
    A collection of INDEL markers for map-based cloning in seven Arabidopsis accessions
    J Exp Bot. 2012;63(7):2491-501
  29. Agrobacterium tumefaciens - From crown gall tumors to genetic transformation
    Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology. 76 (2): 76-81
  30. Pop TI, Pamfil D, Bellini C
    Auxin control in the formation of adventitious roots
    Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca: 2011 39:307-316
  31. Keech O, Pesquet E, Gutierrez L, Ahad A, Bellini C, Smith SM, Gardeström P
    Leaf senescence Is accompanied by an early disruption of the microtubule network in Arabidopsis
    Plant Physiology: 2010 154:1710-1720
  32. Contesto C, Milesi S, Mantelin S, Zancarini A, Desbrosses G, Varoquaux F, Bellini C, Kowalczyk M, Touraine B
    The auxin-signaling pathway is required for the lateral root response of Arabidopsis to the rhizobacterium Phyllobacterium brassicacearum
    Planta: 2010 232:1455-1470
  33. Gutierrez L, Bussell JD, Pacurar DI, Schwambach J, Pacurar M, Bellini C
    Phenotypic plasticity of adventitious rooting in Arabidopsis is controlled by complex regulation of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR transcripts and microRNA abundance
    The Plant Cell: 2009 21:3119-3132
  34. Guénin S, Mauriat M, Pelloux J, Van Wuytswinkel O, Bellini C, Gutierrez L
    Normalization of qRT-PCR data: the necessity of adopting a systematic, experimental conditions-specific, validation of references
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 2009 60:487-493
  35. Guénin S, Mauriat M, Pelloux J, Van Wuytswinkel O, Bellini C, Gutierrez L
    Normalization of qRT-PCR data: the necessity of adopting a systematic, experimental conditions-specific, validation of references
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 2009 60:487-493
  36. Gutierrez L, Mauriat M, Pelloux J, Bellini C, Van Wuytswinkel O
    Towards a systematic validation of references in Real-Time RT-PCR
    The Plant Cell: 2008, online early
  37. Le Hir R, Beneteau J, Bellini C, Vilaine F, Dinant S
    Gene expression profiling: keys for investigating phloem functions
    Trends in Plant Science: 2008 13:273-280
  38. Le Hir R, Beneteau J, Bellini C, Vilaine F, Dinant S
    Gene expression profiling: keys for investigating phloem functions
    Trends in Plant Science: 2008 582: (8 pp)
  39. Gutierrez L, Mauriat M, Guénin S, Pelloux J, Lefebvre JF, Louvet R, Rusterucci C, Moritz T, Guerineau F, Bellini C, Van Wuytswinkel O
    The lack of a systematic validation of reference genes: a serious pitfall undervalued in reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis in plants.
    Plant Biotechnology Journal: 2008 6:609-618
  40. Gutierrez L, Van Wuytswinkel O, Castelain M, Bellini C
    Combined networks regulating seed maturation
    Trends in Plant Science: 2007 12(7):294-300
  41. Gutierrez L, Van Wuytswinkel O, Castelain M, Bellini C
    Combined networks regulating seed maturation
    Trends in Plant Science: 2007 12(7):294-300
  42. Svennerstam H, Ganeteg U, Bellini C, Näsholm T
    Comprehensive screening of Arabidopsis mutants suggests the lysine histidine transporter 1 to be involved in plant uptake of amino acids
    Plant Physiology: 2007 145:1853-1860
  43. Svennerstam H, Ganeteg U, Bellini C, Näsholm T
    Comprehensive screening of Arabidopsis mutants suggests the lysine histidine transporter 1 to be involved in plant uptake of amino acids
    Plant Physiology: 2007 145:1853-1860
  44. Sorin C, Negroni L, Balliau T, Corti H, Jacquemot MP, Davanture M, Sandberg G, Zivy M, Bellini C
    Proteomic analysis of different mutant genotypes of Arabidopsis led to the identification of 11 proteins correlating with adventitious root development
    Plant Physiology: 2006 140:349-364
  45. Bennett M, Bellini C, Van Der Straeten D
    Integrative biology: dissecting cross-talk between plant signalling pathways
    Physiologia Plantarum: 2005 123:109-109
  46. Sorin C, Bussell JD, Camus I, Ljung K, Kowalczyk M, Geiss G, McKhann H, Garcion C, Vaucheret H, Sandberg G, Bellini C
    Auxin and light control of adventitious rooting in Arabidopsis require ARGONAUTE1
    Plant Cell: 2005 17:1343-1359
  47. Baud S, Bellec Y, Miquel M, Bellini C, Caboche M, Lepiniec LØ, Faure J-D, Rochat C
    gurke and pasticcino3 mutants affected in embryo development are impaired in acetyl-CoA carboxylase
    EMBO Rep: 2004 5:515-520
  48. Harrar Y, Bellec Y, Bellini C, Faure JD
    Hormonal control of cell proliferation requires PASTICCINO genes
    Plant Physiology: 2003 132:1217-1227
  49. Camilleri C, Azimzadeh J, Pastuglia M, Bellini C, Grandjean O, Bouchez D
    The Arabidopsis TONNEAU2 gene encodes a putative novel protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit essential for the control of the cortical cytoskeleton
    Plant Cell: 2002 14:833-845
  50. Bellec Y, Harrar Y, Butaeye C, Darnet S, Bellini C, Faure JD
    Pasticcino2 is a protein tyrosine phosphatase-like involved in cell proliferation and differentiation in Arabidopsis
    Plant Journal: 2002 32:713-722
  51. Schrick K, Mayer U, Martin G, Bellini C, Kuhnt C, Schmidt J, Jurgens G
    Interactions between sterol biosynthesis genes in embryonic development of Arabidopsis
    Plant Journal: 2002 31:61-73
  52. Carol RJ, Breiman A, Erel N, Vittorioso P, Bellini C
    PASTICCINO1 (AtFKBP70) is a nuclear-localised immunophilin required during Arabidopsis thaliana embryogenesis
    Plant Science: 2001 161:527-535
  53. Harrar Y, Bellini C, Faure JD
    FKBPs: at the crossroads of folding and transduction
    Trends Plant Sci: 2001 6:426-431
  54. Schrick K, Mayer U, Horrichs A, Kuhnt C, Bellini C, Dangl J, Schmidt J, Jurgens G
    FACKEL is a sterol C-14 reductase required for organized cell division and expansion in Arabidopsis embryogenesis
    Genes & Development: 2000 14:1471-1484
  55. Barlier I, Kowalczyk M, Marchant A, Ljung K, Bhalerao R, Bennett M, Sandberg G, Bellini C
    The SUR2 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana encodes the cytochrome P450 CYP83B1, a modulator of auxin homeostasis
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2000 97:14819-14824
  56. Fagard M, Boutet S, Morel JB, Bellini C, Vaucheret H
    AGO1, QDE-2, and RDE-1 are related proteins required for post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants, quelling in fungi, and RNA interference in animals
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2000 97:11650-11654
  57. Delarue M, Muller P, Bellini C, Delbarre A
    Increased auxin efflux in the IAA-overproducing sur1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana: A mechanism of reducing auxin levels?
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1999 107:120-127
  58. Faure JD, Vittorioso P, Santoni V, Fraisier V, Prinsen E, Barlier I, Van Onckelen H, Caboche M, Bellini C
    The PASTICCINO genes of Arabidopsis thaliana are involved in the control of cell division and differentiation
    Development: 1998 125:909-918
  59. Bohmert K, Camus I, Bellini C, Bouchez D, Caboche M, Benning C
    AGO1 defines a novel locus of Arabidopsis controlling leaf development
    EMBO J: 1998 17:170-180
  60. Vittorioso P, Cowling R, Faure JD, Caboche M, Bellini C
    Mutation in the Arabidopsis PASTICCINO1 gene, which encodes a new FK506-binding protein-like protein, has a dramatic effect on plant development
    Mol Cell Biol: 1998 18:3034-3043
  61. Delarue M, Prinsen E, Van Onckelen H, Caboche M, Bellini C
    Sur2 mutations of Arabidopsis thaliana define a new locus involved in the control of auxin homeostasis
    Plant Journal: 1998 14:603-611
  62. Seo M, Akaba S, Oritani T, Delarue M, Bellini C, Caboche M, Koshiba T
    Higher activity of an aldehyde oxidase in the auxin-overproducing superroot1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana. (vol 116, pg 687, 1998)
    Plant Physiology: 1998 116:1607-1607
  63. Seo M, Akaba S, Oritani T, Delarue M, Bellini C, Caboche M, Koshiba T
    Higher activity of an aldehyde oxidase in the auxin-overproducing superroot1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana
    Plant Physiology: 1998 116:687-693
  64. Faivre-Rampant O, Kevers C, Bellini C, Gaspar T
    Peroxidase activity, ethylene production, lignification and growth limitation in shoots of a nonrooting mutant of tobacco
    Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: 1998 36:873-877
  65. Delarue M, Santoni V, Caboche M, Bellini C
    Cristal mutations in Arabidopsis confer a genetically heritable, recessive, hyperhydric phenotype
    Planta: 1997 202:51-61
  66. Santoni V, Delarue M, Caboche M, Bellini C
    A comparison or two-dimensional electrophoresis data with phenotypical traits in Arabidopsis leads to the identification of a mutant (cri1) that accumulates cytokinins
    Planta: 1997 202:62-69
  67. Desnos T, Orbovic V, Bellini C, Kronenberger J, Caboche M, Traas J, Hofte H
    Procuste1 mutants identify two distinct genetic pathways controlling hypocotyl cell elongation, respectively in dark and light-grown Arabidopsis seedlings
    Development: 1996 122:683-693
  68. Mollier P, Montoro P, Delarue M, Bechtold N, Bellini C, Pelletier G
    Promoterless Gusa Expression in a Large Number of Arabidopsis-Thaliana Transformants Obtained by the in Planta Infiltration Method
    Comptes Rendus De L Academie Des Sciences Serie Iii-Sciences De La Vie-Life Sciences: 1995 318:465-474
  69. Traas J, Bellini C, Nacry P, Kronenberger J, Bouchez D, Caboche M
    Normal Differentiation Patterns in Plants Lacking Microtubular Preprophase Bands
    Nature: 1995 375:676-677
  70. Boerjan W, Cervera MT, Delarue M, Beeckman T, Dewitte W, Bellini C, Caboche M, Vanonckelen H, Vanmontagu M, Inze D
    Superroot, a Recessive Mutation in Arabidopsis, Confers Auxin Overproduction
    Plant Cell: 1995 7:1405-1419
  71. Creusot F, Fouilloux E, Dron M, Lafleuriel J, Picard G, Billault A, Lepaslier D, Cohen D, Chaboute ME, Durr A, Fleck J, Gigot C, Camilleri C, Bellini C, Caboche M, Bouchez D
    The Cic Library - a Large Insert Yac Library for Genome Mapping in Arabidopsis-Thaliana
    Plant Journal: 1995 8:763-770
  72. Santoni V, Bellini C, Caboche M
    Use of 2-Dimensional Protein-Pattern Analysis for the Characterization of Arabidopsis-Thaliana Mutants
    Planta: 1994 192:557-566
  73. Bellini C, Giordani C, Lupotto E, Locatelli F, Cuzzoni E, Avogadro E, Castiglione S, Sala F
    Stability of a Foreign Gene in Transgenic Nicotiana -Tabacum -L Plants During a Cycle of Dedifferentiation Differentiation
    Plant Science: 1992 82:193-200
  74. Bellini C, Chupeau MC, Gervais M, Vastra G, Chupeau Y
    Importance of Myoinositol, Calcium, and Ammonium for the Viability and Division of Tomato (Lycopersicon-Esculentum) Protoplasts
    Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture: 1990 23:27-37
  75. Chupeau MC, Bellini C, Guerche P, Maisonneuve B, Vastra G, Chupeau Y
    Transgenic Plants of Lettuce (Lactuca-Sativa) Obtained through Electroporation of Protoplasts
    Bio-Technology: 1989 7:503-&
  76. Bellini C, Guerche P, Spielmann A, Goujaud J, Lesaint C, Caboche M
    Genetic-Analysis of Transgenic Tobacco Plants Obtained by Liposome-Mediated Transformation - Absence of Evidence for the Mutagenic Effect of Inserted Sequences in 60 Characterized Transformants
    Journal of Heredity: 1989 80:361-367
  77. Bellini C, Chupeau MC, Guerche P, Vastra G, Chupeau Y
    Transformation of Lycopersicon-Peruvianum and Lycopersicon-Esculentum Mesophyll Protoplasts by Electroporation
    Plant Science: 1989 65:63-75
  78. Masson J, Lancelin D, Bellini C, Lecerf M, Guerche P, Pelletier G
    Selection of Somatic Hybrids between Diploid Clones of Potato (Solanum-Tuberosum-L) Transformed by Direct Gene-Transfer
    Theoretical and Applied Genetics: 1989 78:153-159