Nuestros investigadores

María Garnica Ochoa

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Olaetxea, Maite; V.; García, A. C.; et al.
ISSN 1559-2316  Vol. 11  Nº 4  2016  págs. e1161878
Numerous studies have shown the ability of humic substances to improve plant development. This action is normally reflected in an enhancement of crop yields and quality. However, the mechanisms responsible for this action of humic substances remain rather unknown. Our studies have shown that the shoot promoting action of sedimentary humic acids is dependent of its ability to increase root hydraulic conductivity through signaling pathways related to ABA, which in turn is affected in roots by humic acids in an IAA-NO dependent way. Furthermore, these studies also indicate that the primary action of humic acids in roots might also be physical, resulting from a transient mild stress caused by humic acids associated with a fouling-cleaning cycle of wall cell pores. Finally the role of alternative signal molecules, such as ROS, and corresponding signaling pathways are also discussed and modeled in the context of the above-mentioned framework.
Autores: Olaetxea, Maite; Mora, V.; Bacaicoa, E.; et al.
ISSN 0032-0889  Vol. 169  Nº 4  2015  págs. 2587 - 2596
The physiological and metabolic mechanisms behind the humic acid-mediated plant growth enhancement are discussed in detail. Experiments using cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants show that the shoot growth enhancement caused by a structurally well-characterized humic acid with sedimentary origin is functionally associated with significant increases in abscisic acid (ABA) root concentration and root hydraulic conductivity. Complementary experiments involving a blocking agent of cell wall pores and water root transport (polyethylenglycol) show that increases in root hydraulic conductivity are essential in the shoot growth-promoting action of the model humic acid. Further experiments involving an inhibitor of ABA biosynthesis in root and shoot (fluridone) show that the humic acid-mediated enhancement of both root hydraulic conductivity and shoot growth depended on ABA signaling pathways. These experiments also show that a significant increase in the gene expression of the main root plasma membrane aquaporins is associated with the increase of root hydraulic conductivity caused by the model humic acid. Finally, experimental data suggest that all of these actions of model humic acid on root functionality, which are linked to its beneficial action on plant shoot growth, are likely related to the conformational structure of humic acid in solution and its interaction with the cell wall at the root surface.
Autores: Artola, E.; Cruchaga, S.; Ariz, Idoia; et al.
ISSN 0167-6903  Vol. 63  Nº 1  2011  págs. 73 - 79
The use of urea as an N fertilizer has increased to such an extent that it is now the most widely used fertilizer in the world. However, N losses as a result of ammonia volatilization lead to a decrease in its efficiency, therefore different methods have been developed over the years to reduce these losses. One of the most recent involves the use of urea combined with urease inhibitors, such as N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT), in an attempt to delay the hydrolysis of urea in the soil. The aim of this study was to perform an in-depth analysis of the effect that NBPT use has on plant growth and N metabolism. Wheat plants were cultivated in a greenhouse experiment lasting 4 weeks and fertilized with urea and NBPT at different concentrations (0, 0.012, 0.062, 0.125%). Each treatment was replicated six times. A non-fertilized control was also cultivated. Several parameters related with N metabolism were analysed at the end of growth period. NBPT use was found to have visible effects, such as a transitory yellowing of the leaf tips, at the end of the first week of treatment. At a metabolic level, plants treated with the inhibitor were found to have more urea in their tissues and a lower amino acid content, lower glutamine synthetase activity, and lower urease and glutamine synthetase content at the end of the study period, whereas their urease activity seemed to have recovered by this stage.
Autores: Garnica, María; Houdusse, F.; Zamarreño, A.M.; et al.
ISSN 0176-1617  Vol. 167  Nº 15  2010  págs. 1264 - 1272
Ammonium can result in toxicity symptoms in many plants when supplied as a sole nitrogen source. Nitrate reduces the negative effects caused by ammonium and promotes plant growth. In order to explore the mechanism responsible of this beneficial effect, we investigated whether nitrate application causes significant changes in the indoleacetic acid (IAA)- and cytokinin-plant distribution and abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants grown with ammonium. Two differentdoses of nitrate were supplied to ammonium-fed plants (100 mu M and 5 mM), to determine whether the effects of nitrate require significant doses (nutritional character), or can be promoted by very low doses (signal effect). The results showed that the presence of NO(3)(-) was associated with clear increases in the active forms of cytokinins (zeatine (Z), trans-zeatine riboside (tZR), isopentenyl adenosine (IPR)) and reduction of the levels of the lower active forms (cis-zeatine riboside (cZR)), independently of the dose applied. Likewise. the presence of nitrate also enhanced IAA shoot content, which correlated with higher cytokinin levels and a tendency toward lower ABA concentration. This study presents further evidence that the possible signal effect of NO(3)(-) involved in its beneficial effect on the growth of wheat plants fed with NH(4)(+) could be mediated by a coordinated action of the levels of cytokinins, IAA and ABA in the shoot.
Autores: Mora, V.; Bacaicoa, E.; Zamarreño, A.M.; et al.
ISSN 0176-1617  Vol. 167  Nº 8  2010  págs. 633 - 642
Numerous studies have reported the ability of humic substances to increase shoot growth in different plant species cultivated under diverse growth conditions. However, the mechanism responsible for this effect of humic substances is poorly understood. It is possible that the shoot promoting effect of humic substances involves a primary effect on root H(+)-ATPase activity and nitrate root-shoot distribution that, in turn, causes changes in the root-shoot distribution of certain cytokinins, polyamines and abscisic acid, thus affecting shoot growth. We investigated this hypothesis in the present study. The results showed that the root application of a purified humic acid causes a significant increase in shoot growth that is associated with an enhancement in root H(+)-ATPase activity, an increase in nitrate shoot concentration, and a decrease in roots. These effects were associated with significant increases in the shoot concentration of several cytokinins and polyamines (principally putrescine), concomitant with decreases in roots. Likewise, these changes in the root-shoot distribution of diverse active cytokinins correlated well to significant changes in the root-shoot distribution of several mineral nutrients. These results, taken together, indicate that the beneficial effects of humic substances on shoot development in cucumber could be directly associated with nitrate-related effects on the shoot concentration of several active cytokinins and polyamines (principally putrescine).