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 +
  • Martínez-García FJ, Santes CM, García-Martínez JL (2000)
    The end-of-day far-red irradiation increases gibberellin A1 content in cowpea (Vigna sinensis) epicotyls by reducing its inactivation

    Physiologia Plantarum 108: 426-434

  • Fos M, Nuez F, García-Martínez JL (2000)
    The gene pat-2, which induces natural parthenocarpy, alters the gibberellin content in unpollinated tomato ovaries

    Plant Physiology 122: 471-479

  • Kamiya Y, García-Martínez JL (1999)
    Regulation of gibberellin byosynthesis by light

    Current Opinion in Plant Biology 2: 398-403

  • Rodrigo MJ, Garcia-Martinez JL (1998)
    Hormonal control of parthenocarpic ovary growth by the apical shoot in pea

    Plant Physiology 116: 511-518

  • Rodrigo MJ, Lopez-Diaz I, Garcia-Martinez JL (1998)
    The characterization of gio, a new pea mutant, shows the role of indoleacetic acid in the control of fruit development by the apical shoot

    Plant Journal 14: 83-90

  • GarciaMartinez JL, Lopezdiaz I, SanchezBeltran MJ, Phillips AL, Ward DA, Gaskin P, Hedden P (1997)
    Isolation and transcript analysis of gibberellin 20-oxidase genes in pea and bean in relation to fruit development

    Plant Molecular Biology 33: 1073-1084

  • Rodrigo MJ, Garciamartinez JL, Sautes CM, Gaskin P, Hedden P (1997)
    The role of gibberellins A(1) and A(3) in fruit growth of pisum sativum l and the identification of gibberellins A(4) and A(7) in young seeds

    Planta 201: 446-455

  • MartinezGarcia JF, GarciaMartinez JL (1995)
    An acylcyclohexadione retardant inhibits gibberellin a(1) metabolism, thereby nullifying phytochrome-modulation of cowpea epicotyl explants

    Physiologia Plantarum 94: 708-714

  • Santes CM, GarciaMartinez JL (1995)
    Effect of the growth retardant 3,5-dioxo-4-butyryl-cyclohexane carboxylic-acid ethyl-ester, an acylcyclohexanedione compound, on fruit-growth and gibberellin content of pollinated and unpollinated ovaries in pea

    Plant Physiology 108: 517-523

  • Santes CM, Hedden P, Gaskin P, García Martínez JL (1995)
    Gibberellins and related-compounds in young fruits of pea and their relationship to fruit-set

    Phytochemistry 40: 1347-1355

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