Research groups

Grupo: Plant hormone metabolism and regulation of development


Isabel López Díaz ......... ... Staff Scientist

Esther Carrera Bergua ...... Postdoctoral researcher

Teresa Sabater ......... .. ...... Laboratory technician recently retired

José Luis García Martínez (founder of the group, recently retired)



The overall objective of our research is to understand the role of plant hormones in the regulation of plant development. Over the last years, we had been studying the hormonal regulation of different developmental processes, focusing mainly on the role of gibberellins, their mode of action and their interaction with other hormones, in different plant species: pea (Pisum sativum), tobacco (Nicotiana Tabacum ) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L).

At present, we use the tomato micro-tom cultivar, as an experimental system because of its small size, short life cycle and ease of genetic transformation, in addition to the high agronomic value of this species. In our laboratory we have a large number of transgenic and mutant lines with alterations in the metabolism or signalling of gibberellins, auxins, cytokinins and brassinosteroids, as well as reporter lines for the synthesis or responses to gibberellins and auxins. Studying these lines we are addressing the role of plant hormones in the control of ovules, fruits and branching development and the interactions between gibberellins and the rest of plant hormones.

Tools and approaches used in our work include: cloning genes involved in hormone metabolism, studying their function using reverse genetics (over-expression or silencing of genes in transgenic plants of tomato and tobacco) and recently, as a result of the acquisition of a modern equipment of mass spectroscopy in the IBMCP, we have also incorporated the analysis and quantification of major plant hormones, to the methods used in our research.



  • Kazachkova Y, Khan A, Acuna T, López-Díaz I, Carrera Bergua E, Khozin-Goldberg I, Fait A and Barak S. Salt Induces Features of a Dormancy-Like State in Seeds of Eutrema (Thellungiella) salsugineum, a Halophytic Relative of Arabidopsis.  Front. Plant Sci.7: p1071  (2016).
  • Wild M, Davière JM, Regnault T, Sakvarelidze-Achard L, Carrera E, Lopez Diaz I, Cayrel A, Dubeaux G, Vert G, Achard P.  Tissue-specific regulation of gibberellin signaling fine-tunes Arabidopsis iron deficiency responses. Dev Cell. 18; 37(2):190-200 (2016).
  • Moreno JC, Cerda A,  Simpson K,  Lopez-Diaz I, Carrera E, Handford M, and Stange CR.   Increased Nicotiana tabacum fitness through positive regulation of carotenoid, gibberellin and chlorophyll pathways promoted by Daucus carota lycopene β-cyclase (Dclcyb1) expression. J Exp Bot.  67 (8): 2325-2338  (2016).
  • Regnault T, Davière J, Wild M, Sakvarelidze-Achard L, Heintz D, Carrera Bergua E, Lopez Diaz I, Gong F, Hedden P, Achard P . The gibberellin precursor GA12 acts as a long-distance growth signal in Arabidopsis. Nat Plants. 1(6):15073 (2015).
  • Martinez-Bello L, Moritz T, Lopez-Diaz I.  Silencing C19-GA 2-oxidases induces parthenocarpic development and inhibits lateral branching in tomato plants. J. Exp. Bot. 66 (19): 5897-5910 (2015)
  • Andrés, F.; Porri, A.; Torti, S.; Mateos, J.; Romera-Branchat, M.; García-Martínez, Jl; Fornara, F.; Gregis, V.; Kater, Mm; Coupland, G. Short vegetative phase reduces gibberellin biosynthesis at the arabidopsis shoot apex to regulate the floral transition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(26), 2760-2769  (2014)
  • García-Hurtado N, Carrera E, Ruiz-Rivero O, López-Gresa MP, Hedden P, Gong F, García-Martínez JL.  The characterization of transgenic tomato overexpressing gibberellin 20-oxidase reveals induction of parthenocarpic fruit growth, higher yield, and alteration of the gibberellin biosynthetic pathway. J. Exp. Bot.  63: 5803-5813  (2012)
  • Garcia-Lor A, García-Martinez JL, Perez-Amador MA.  Identification of ovule and seed genes from Citrus clementina. Tree Genetics & Genomes 8: 227-235  (2012)
  • Carrera E, Ruiz-Rivero O, Peres LEP, Atares A, García-Martinez JL.  Characterization of the procera Tomato Mutant Shows Novel Functions of SlDELLA Protein in the Control of Flower Morphology, and Cell Division and Expansion and Auxin-Signalling Pathway During Fruit-Set and Development . Plant Physiology 160: 1581-1596 (2012)
Metabolismo hormonal y regulación del desarrollo de las plantas

Staff Researchers

Other Group Members

Temporary Visitors

Master Students / Polytechnic University of Valencia

  • Javier López Martinez. Master's thesis submitted  on January  2017
  • Joan Freixas. Master's thesis in progress

Undergraduate research project in Biotechnology

  • Carlos Bravo Buitrago. 2016/17. Catholic University of Valencia

Internships / Undergraduate students in Biotechnology

  • Laura Viñals.  2016/2017.  University of Valencia
  • Itziar Estrada.  2016/2017.  University of Valencia

Foreign Visitors

  • Lucas Gaion/ PhD student /UNESP/Jaboticabal-SP Brasil.   May-July 2016
  • Soukaina Rida/ PhD student/ Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech2016-17. Scholarship Erasmus +
  • Serrani JC, Ruiz-Rivero O, Fos M, García-Martínez JL (2008)
    Auxin-induced fruit-set in tomato is mediated in part by gibberellins

    Plant Journal 56: 922-934

  • Gallego-Giraldo L, Ubeda-Tomás S, Gisbert C, García-Martínez JL, Moritz T, López-Díaz I (2008)
    Gibberellin Homeostasis in Tobacco is Regulated by GA Metabolism Genes with Different GA Sensitivity

    Plant and Cell Physiology 49: 679-690

  • Serrani JC, Fos M, Atarés A, García-Martínez JL (2007)
    Effect of Gibberellin and Auxin on Parthenocarpic Fruit Growth Induction in the cv Micro-Tom of Tomato

    Journal of Plant Growth Regulation 26: 211-221

  • Fagoaga C, Tadeo FR, Iglesias DJ, Huerta L, Lliso I, Vidal AM, Talón M, Navarro L, García-Martínez JL, Peña L (2007)
    Engineering of gibberellin levels in citrus by sense and antisense overexpression of a GA 20-oxidase gene modifies plant architecture

    Journal of Experimental Botany 58: 1407-1420

  • Gallego-Giraldo L, García-Martínez JL, Moritz T, López-Díaz I (2007)
    Flowering in Tobacco Needs Gibberellins but is not Promoted by the Levels of Active GA1 and GA4 in the Apical Shoot

    Plant and Cell Physiology 48: 615-625

  • Serrani JC, Sanjuan R, Ruiz-Rivero O, Fos M, García-Martínez JL (2007)
    Gibberellin Regulation of Fruit-Set and Growth in Tomato

    Plant Physiology 145: 246-257

  • Martí E, Gisbert C, Bishop GJ, Dixon MS, García-Martínez JL (2006)
    Genetic and physiological characterization of tomato cv Micro-Tom

    Journal of Experimental Botany 57: 2037-2047

  • Ubeda-Tomás S, García-Martínez JL, López-Díaz I (2006)
    Molecular, biochemical and physiological characterization of gibberellin biosynthesis and catabolism genes from Nerium oleander

    Journal of Plant Growth Regulation 25: 52-68

  • Reyes D, Rodríguez D, González-García MP, Lorenzo O, Nicolás G, García-Martínez JL, Nicolás C (2006)
    Overexpression of a protein phosphatase 2C from Fagus sylvatica L. (FsPP2C2) in Arabidopsis shows phenotypes related with ABA responses and GA biosynthesis

    Plant Physiology 141: 1414-1424

  • Forment J, Gadea J, Huerta L, Abizanda L, Agusti J, Alamar S, Alos E, Andres F, Arribas R, Beltran JP, Berbel A, Blazquez MA, Brumos J, Canas LA, Cercos M, Colmenero-Flores JM, Conesa M, Estables B, Gandia M, Garcia-Martinez JL, Gimeno J, Gisbert A, Gomez G, Gonzalez-Candelas L, Granell A, Guerri J, Lafuente MT, Madueno F, Marcos JF, Marques MC, Martinez F, Martinez-Godoy MA, Miralles S, Moreno P, Navarro L, Pallas V, Perez-Amador MA, Perez-Valle J, Pons C, Rodrigo I, Rodriguez PL, Royo C, Serrano R, Soler G, Tadeo F, Talon M, Terol J, Trenor M, Vaello L, Vicente O, Vidal Ch, Zacarias L, Conejero V (2005)
    Development of a Citrus genome-wide EST collection and cDNA microarray as resources for genomic studies

    Plant Molecular Biology 57: 375-391

Molecular interactions between ethylene and gibberellin pathways in plants (INTEGA) (HPRN-CT2000-00090), 01-01-2000/31-12-2003.
Entidad financiadora: 
Comunidad Europea.
D.Van der Straeten
Evaluación del potencial biotecnológico de genes del metabolismo de giberelinas para modificar la altura y la capacidad partenocárpica de las planta (BIO2000-1436), 01-01-2000/31-12-2003.
Entidad financiadora: 
Plan Nacional de I+D, Biotecnología
Jose Luis García Martínez
Regulacion hormonal del desarrollo reproductivo: papel de las giberelinas y su interaccion con auxinas. (BIO2006-13437)
Entidad financiadora: 
Plan Nacional I+D Biotecnología
Jose Luis García Martínez
Control hormonal de la fructificacion en tomate (BIO2009-07968)
Entidad financiadora: 
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Jose Luis Garcia Martinez
Entidad financiadora: 
Plan Nacional de I+D+i (BIO2014-55946)
Entidad financiadora: 
Plan Nacional de I+D+i (AGL2014-55177-R)
Jose Maria Seguí