María Rosa Ponce Molet Group

Responsible María Rosa Ponce Molet


Research summary


Research lines


Line 1: Functional analysis of the microRNA pathway in Arabidopis thaliana

One of the mechanisms of eukaryotic gene expression regulation is post-transcriptional, mediated by small interfering RNAs, which include microRNAs (miRNAs). To negatively regulate their targets, these small RNAs are incorporated into silencing complexes, in which a protein of the ARGONAUTE (AGO) family plays a central role in both animals and plants. In Arabidopsis, AGO1 is the main component of miRNA-mediated silencing complexes.  The study of this type of regulation has great biotechnological potential, since its manipulation allows the selective silencing of any endogenous or viral gene. We are studying the functions and interactions of Arabidopsis AGO1 and other components of the miRNA-mediated silencing pathway by means of different genetic and molecular approaches. 

Line 2: Control of ribosome biogenesis in Arabidopsis

The ribosome is a high conserved molecular machine that originated 3 to 4 billion years ago, and whose synthesis is the most energy-demanding process in any prokaryotic or eukaryotic cell. It catalyzes the translation of mRNAs into proteins in a process universal to all life forms. The intricate pathways that produce 80S cytoplasmic ribosomes demand most of cell energy and resources in any organism, so it is under strict genetic controls to get a proper stoichiometry of all its components, four rRNAs and about 80 ribosomal proteins. Most of knowledge about the biogenesis of the cytoplasmic 80S ribosome comes from studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the eukaryotic organism in which this process has been addressed in greater depth. In fact, virtually all of ribosome biogenesis factors (more than 250) have been functionally characterized in yeast. However, this is not the situation in other organisms, including animals and plants where ribosome biogenesis has been more poorly studied. Our main goal is to contribute to clarify the mechanisms of control of ribosome biogenesis in Arabidopsis, identifying ribosomal factors that could control and coordinate the synthesis of the components of the ribosome.

Name Position e-mail ORCID
María Rosa Ponce Molet Full Professor 0000-0003-0770-4230
Raquel Sarmiento Mañús Assistant Professor 0000-0001-6929-8034
Rosa Micol Ponce Postdoctoral Contract 0000-0001-9389-2906
Adrián Cabezas Fuster Postdoctoral Contract 0000-0001-5571-0665
Sara Fontcuberta Cervera Postdoctoral Contract 0000-0001-9410-6946
Diana Navarro Martínez Research Support Technician  

M.R. Ponce, J. L. Micol, R. Sarmiento-Mañús, S. Fontcuberta-Cervera, A. Cabezas-Fuster, A. de Bures , J. Sáez-Vásquez
SMALL ORGAN4 Is a Ribosome Biogenesis Factor Involved in 5.8S Ribosomal RNA Maturation
Plant Physiology 184, 2022-2039 (2020). PDF

U. Aceituno-Valenzuela, R. Micol-Ponce, M.R. Ponce
Genome-wide analysis of CCHC-type zinc finger (ZCCHC) proteins in yeast, Arabidopsis, and humans
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 77, 3991-4014 (2020).

M.R. Ponce, J.L. Micol
A cornucopia of mutants for understanding plant embryo development
New Phytologist 226, 289-291 (2020).

D. Wilson-Sánchez, S.D. Lup, R. Sarmiento-Mañús, M.R. Ponce, J.L. Micol
Next-generation forward genetic screens: using simulated data to improve the design of mapping-by-sequencing experiments in Arabidopsis
Nucleic Acids Research 47, e140 (2019).

R. Micol-Ponce, R. Sarmiento-Mañús, A. Ruiz-Bayón, C. Montacié, J. Sáez-Vasquez, M.R. Ponce
Arabidopsis RIBOSOMAL RNA PROCESSING 7 is required for 18S rRNA maturation. Plant Cell 30, 2855-2872
The Plant Cell: In a Nutshell (2018).

Aid for the promotion of young employment and implementation of the Youth Guarantee in R+D+i. Funding agency: MCIU AEI PEJ2018-001974-A. Duration: 2019-2021.
PI: María Rosa Ponce

Relationship between the microRNA machinery and mRNA translation. Funding agency: MinEICo BIO2017-89728-R. Duration: 2018-2020.
PI: María Rosa Ponce

Robotic platform for plant phenomics. Funding agency: Generalitat Valenciana IDIFEDER/2020/019. Duration: 2020.
PI: José Luis Micol

Molecular keys to plant growth: a multidisciplinary approach. Funding agency: Generalitat Valenciana PROMETEO/2019/117. Duration: 2019-2022.
PI: José Luis Micol

Plant phenomics unit. Funding agency: MCIU EQC2019-006592-P. Duration: 2019-2021.
PI: José Luis Micol