The proposed project will focus on the study of the existence of a 
nodule-specific hypoxia-related regulation of genes and its putative implication in the SNF, using the model symbiotic system of 
Medicago truncatulaSinorhizobium meliloti

The specific objectives of this project are: 
  • In silico identification of M.  truncatula nodule-specific  expressed  and  nodule-induced  genes  with  special focus on the corresponding sugar transporters and glycolysis-related genes.
  • Determination  of  the  temporal  and  spatial  expression  of  these  genes  during  the different  stages  of M. truncatula nodule development, and comparison with their expression levels in non-symbiotic plant organs (for the nodule-induced genes). 
  • Examination of the subcellular localization of the corresponding encoded proteins in the nodule, by expressing protein hybrids with a reporter protein or tagged with an epitope.
  • Determination of the substrate specificity and kinetic properties of the targeted sugar transporters.
  • Analysis  of  the  physiological  role  of  the  identified sugar  transporters  and  glycolysis-related  genes in the process of SNF, using reverse genetic approaches.
  • Characterization of the proximal promoters of these genes by in  silico analysis  as  well  as  by  testing  the function  of  the  promoter  (using  a  reporter  protein)  in  plants,  in  order  to  determine  known  and  new hypoxia responsive DNA elements.    
  • Identification of nodule-expressed transcription factors capable of recognizing these hypoxia-responsive DNA elements.