Soraya Pelaz

Soraya Pelaz

Centre de Recerca en Agrigenòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

Born in Bilbao,Soraya 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 MEC and from the HFSPO. 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. Along the years she has also performed stays at UNAM, Mexico; WUR, Netherlands; Max Planck, Germany and NYU and NYBG, USA.

Research interests

The connection among crop production, climate change, and demographic growth is progressively uncovering a profound impact in the food security throughout the world. Because plants are sessile organisms, they maximize their chances to survive adversities by reprogramming their development for adaptation to environmental changes. Under this scenario, integrative approaches to understand the specific role of essential genetic regulatory networks in plants are urgently needed. RAV genes configure a potential hub to modulate plant development in response to adverse environmental conditions, which are major limiting factors for plant survival, adaptation, and crop production. Therefore, we perform a comprehensive functional study of RAV genes along the green tree of life. We analyze their gene regulatory networks in abiotic stress responses and aim to decipher RAV gene evolution and function acquisition unravelling their roles from non-flowering plants to flowering plants.

Selected publications

- Osnato M, Cota I, Nebhnani P, Cereijo U & Pelaz S 2022, 'Photoperiod Control of Plant Growth: Flowering Time Genes Beyond Flowering', Frontiers In Plant Science, 12, 805635.

Selected research activities

Managerial Activities

* CRAG Vicedirector

* Head of the Molecular Genetics Department

Funded Projects

* Evolution of RAV genes function in RESponses to abiotic stress In fLowerIng and non-flowEring plaNTS (RAV-RESILIENTS). MCIN. 

* Guarantor Researcher of Centers of Excellence Severo Ochoa awarded to CRAG.

* Arabidopsis Developmental Genomics. SGR. AGAUR.

Doctoral Theses

* Poonam Nebhnani. “Elucidating TEM and MYC roles in Arabidopsis thaliana floral repression”. Autonomous University of Barcelona

Master Thesis

* Juan José Llorens. “Protein interactions between flowering related genes in basal embryophytes”. Master on Plant Biology, Genomics and Biotechnology. Autonomous University of Barcelona.

* Andrea Rivero. “Study of Arabidopsis thaliana RAV genes by CRISPR technology and more”. Master on Biotechnology. Autonomous University of Barcelona

Editorial Board

* Associated Editor of Physiologia Plantarum.

* Academic Editor of Peer J.

Outreach Activities

* “Mutant Plants” workshop for school children.