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Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Country: Portugal

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

45 Projects, page 1 of 9
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101090268
    Funder Contribution: 156,779 EUR

    Pine Wilt Disease (PWD) caused by the nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Pine Wood Nematode, PWN) is one most devastating forest diseases worldwide. This pathology was detected in Europe in 1999 and future climatic scenarios point PWD will spread in the next decades threatening more than 60% of native range of Pinus sylvestris and P. pinaster. In parallel, adaptation of woodlands to Climate Change and its effect in tree defense against this pathology remain unclear. BiPhyNEMA will investigate how pines will react to those stress sources to better understand ecophysiological and pathogenic procedures that will drive their response in the middle term. The project has four research objectives: a) to evaluate physiological response of two P. pinaster genotypes (susceptible and resistant) infected by PWN under two different environmental conditions according to IPCC scenarios; b) to characterize functional response of infected seedlings and PWNs by dual-transcriptomics approach in the aforementioned scenarios; c) to monitor populations of PWN-mutualistic bacteria during nematode infection, and d) to investigate virus-based control potential using phages against PWN-associated bacteria. BiPhyNEMA combines transcriptomics with tree ecophysiology from an integrative point of view (ecophysiolomics) to achieve a holistic description of disease development. In addition, the project integrates that approach with pathology and applied virology, resulting in an original and interdisciplinary research with high potential for innovative findings. BiPhyNEMA provides a detailed personal career development plan focused in reinforcing autonomous research profile of the fellow. Moreover, the project will transfer new knowledge between forest researchers, foresters, and society using the most suitable means in each case. BiPhyNEMA adheres to key strategic orientations of Horizon Europe Program, and addresses the need to develop eco-friendly methods for forest protection

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101130754
    Funder Contribution: 156,779 EUR

    Chromosome condensation during mitosis has long been assumed to render mitotic chromatin incompatible with transcription. However, recent evidence shows that some chromosomal regions (e.g. centromeres, some genes) are transcribed in mitosis. These findings imply that mitotic transcription inhibition (MTI) is not a global event along the entire chromosome. Instead, I propose that mitotic transcriptional silencing is spatially regulated, allowing specific loci to evade MTI and maintain their transcription. Testing this novel hypothesis is challenging due to our poor understanding of the mechanisms driving MTI. Additionally, commonly used techniques to study transcription (e.g. genome-wide approaches) provide snapshots of the process but lack temporal resolution to dissect fast changes in transcription. With SUB-SCRIPT, I will implement an advanced imaging tool in live cells to uncover the dynamics of ongoing transcription throughout mitosis, for selected loci. I will apply this approach to selected genes to test how transcription regulation in mitosis varies depending on gene architecture/identity. In parallel, I will make use of a putative MTI factor (my preliminary observations) to manipulate the transcriptional state of selected genes during mitosis. Both strategies will capitalize on my vast expertise in dCas9 use for chromosome targeting, which I will further exploit to imaging RNAs (dCas13). Ongoing work in the host lab on chromosome assembly and novel mechanisms that drive MTI provides an excellent environment for project implementation. The completion of this project will uncover how different genes display unique kinetics of transcriptional regulation during mitosis and how MTI is regulated at the sub-chromosomal level, challenging current views on how mitotic transcription shut-down occurs. It will also provide novel tools and concepts to explore how MTI can actively impact mitotic fidelity, transcriptional control, cell physiology and potentially disease.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 894678
    Overall Budget: 147,815 EURFunder Contribution: 147,815 EUR

    My research project will examine and compare the relations of the Papacy with Portugal and Aragon from the pontificate of Alexander II (1061-1073) to that of Innocent III (1198-1216). Portugal and Aragon have been chosen because were the only political realities in the Iberian Peninsula to enjoy the protection of St Peter in these centuries. These relationships have been interpreted as a feudal bond, but recent studies have started to challenge this image. This analysis will fit into and expand recent discussions of the relations between centre (Rome) and periphery, focusing on an ecclesiological perspective. To whom was the Apostolic See writing? And who was writing to Rome? Why? Did the letters concern practical or theoretical matters? What language and images were adopted by Rome to assert its primacy over Portugal and Aragon and what ecclesiological ideas? Was there ever a feudal bond between these political institutions and Rome? Or was the papacy only reacting to events, claiming a role that it could not play? Was there a particular style in use when writing to the pope? Did ecclesiastics and lay powers adopt similar or distinct formulas when writing to the Apostolic See? These are some of the questions the project aims to answer. Letters issued by the papal chancery are the main source for this kind of analysis because they always entailed the official view of the Roman church on a specific matter, showing the communication strategies and the ecclesiological ideas adopted by the Apostolic See to assert Roman primacy. Missives sent to the popes also played a decisive role in the creation of papal images. This project will shed light not only on the papacy and on the strategies adopted to support its claims of primacy, but also on views of the Roman church from a frontier of Christianity, which may (or may not) have been shared by the papacy itself.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 611493
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 952330
    Overall Budget: 899,221 EURFunder Contribution: 899,221 EUR

    STARGATE will enable UCP to become an established centre of excellence on the use of sensors, multi-omics and plant phenotyping technologies as tools to gain a deeper understanding on the management of desired traits that enable sustainable and resilient agri-food systems. For this, it is essential that UCP increases its competencies in data management and data analysis. STARGATE will boost the level of excellence of UCP in a topic of extreme relevance to the centre’s core activities within its three pillars of research: Environment and Resources; Food and Nutrition; Biobased and Biomedical Products. The project will establish a framework upon which the Consortium will build to understand the potential impact of genetic resources and biodiversity on the final food, and to modulate plant phenotypes aiming to select the best raw material to generate the Premium food product (nutritious, healthy, safe and sustainable) by increasing resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, reduce the use of fertilizers/herbicides, improve nutritional value of crops and overall quality, extend shelf-life and reduce losses. STARGATE will facilitate structural changes at UCP and maximize its high potential for research excellence by creating a synergic research environment with internationally leading institution in this area: INRAE, IPK and WR. These partners cover gap areas of UCP (sensing technologies, multi-omics, phenotyping, data analysis, predictive modelling). These centres have the infrastructure as well as the capacity to manage and analyse data generated by phenomics, metabolomics, diverse sensor data, and build predictive models for selected scenarios, being ideal to support UCP in acquiring such knowledge at international excellence levels. In the long term, STARGATE will enable UCP to expand these tools to other stages of the agri-food system and to develop a centre of excellence in high-performance agri-food systems.

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