Soraya Pelaz

Centre de Recerca en Agrigenòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

Born in Bilbao, started Biology studies in the Basque Country University but moved to Madrid to follow the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry specialty. She obtained her BSc at Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) in 1989. For her PhD studies she joined Dr. Morata's laboratory at the CBM where she performed research on Drosophila Developmental Genetics with a Basque Predoctoral fellowship and got the PhD in 1993 at UAM. For her postdoctoral research she moved from flies to flowers by joining Dr. Yanofsky's laboratory at the University of California at San Diego. There she performed Developmental Biology on Arabidopsis with fellowships from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science and from the Human Frontiers Science Program Organization. In 2001 she got a "Ramón y Cajal" contract at INIA in Madrid to establish her own line of research in Flower Development. In 2003 she joined ICREA and moved to Barcelona.

Research interests

Floral induction is probably the most important process in plant development since it takes to the formation of flowers and fruits. Flowering must happen in a favorable time of the year to allow successful seed formation and reproduction. Our goal is to elucidate how plants know when to flower in response to a variety of external and endogenous signals and what genes, networks and mechanisms are responsible for the control of this process. The correct timing of flowering, which is crucial to ensure reproductive success, is therefore of economic and adaptive value. Because plants are sessile organisms we lately focused on how plants maximize their chances to survive adversities by reprogramming their development and flowering time for adaptation to environmental changes. In order to unravel new insights into environment adaptation, we also started an evolutionary developmental, evo-devo, approach which may help to deal with the undesired effects of global warming.

Selected research activities

Funded Projects

* SGR (Grups de Recerca Reconeguts i Finançats). AGAUR. Arabidopsis Developmental Genomics. (2017 SGR 718).

* Proyectos de I+D. Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia. Subprograma Estatal de Generación de Conocimiento. Evolution and Function of TEMPRANILLO in Plant Development and Adaptive Responses. MINECO (BFU2015-64409-P).

* Garante Researcher of Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa (SEV-2015-0533) awarded to CRAG.

* Torres Quevedo. MINECO. Use of trichomes as “natural factories” for the pharmaceutical agriculture. A CRAG-Sequentia Collaboration. (PTQ-13-06459).

Editorial Board

* Associated Editor of Physiologia Plantarum.

* Academic Editor of Peer J.

* Review Editor of Frontiers in Plant Genetics and Genomics.

Invited Talk

*Silencing reveals novel roles for RAV genes in flowering and carpel development in rice. Plant Adapt 2018, Banyuls sur mer, France.

Outreach and Dissemination Activities

* Participation in TV program DEUWATTS sobre Flors i Ciència.

* “Mutant Plants” workshop for school children in collaboration with CRECIM.

* 23ª Dia de la ciència a las escoles. ¿Ojos, pelos…? ¿Hablamos de plantas? Institut Maremar. El Masnou, Barcelona.