Signaling and Responses to biotic stress
Mechanisms of Stress Responses in Plants
This line of research focuses on the study of the mechanisms involved in the resistance of plants to biotic agents (viroids, viruses, bacteria, fungi) using biochemical, molecular and metabolomic approaches, in order to discern the function of genes, proteins and metabolites involved in the response of the plant to pathogenic attack.
The general objectives are:
1. Gain a better knowledge of the response of plants against biotic attacks. This response is mediated by a reduced number of molecular signals that activate a defence system composed of multiple plant components.
2. Identify the mechanisms by which the Viroid of Citrus Exocortis produces important biochemical and physiological alterations in the host plant, such as developmental anomalies, specific resistance to other infections, non-specific induction of components of the general response system of the plant, etc.
3. Characterize metabolites involved in the plant’s interaction with pathogens. In particular, the search focuses on metabolites of biological interest, either because they can behave as defensive components or signalling in the infected plant, or between it and healthy neighbouring plants.
4. The next step is the generation of transgenic plants with altered levels of those metabolites of interest and studying their function in the defensive response of both the host plant and neighbouring plants.
These studies will allow us to expand the knowledge about the defensive system of plants and generate new biotechnological strategies for the control of diseases in plants that allow a less aggressive agriculture with the environment.