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Structure and evolution of plant genomes

The main objective of our group is to increase our knowledge on the structure of plant genomes and study how these genomes evolve. After the sequencing of model plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana, with the development of NGS techniques is now possible to sequence and characterize the genomes of crop species. Our group has actively participated in the sequencing and annotation of the Arabidopsis thaliana and melon genomes and will concentrate in the next future in the study of crop genome evolution using resequencing data from crop varieties. This work should allow us to better understand how genome variability is generated and how this variability correlates with phenotypic variability in traits that have been selected by humans during crop domestication and breeding.

One of the major drivers of variability in plants are transposable elements. For this reason we have pay a special attention to these elements in the past, and we will continue to study them in the future.

Selected Publications

Hénaff E, Vives C, Desvoyes B, Chaurasia A, Payet J, Gutierrez C, Casacuberta JM

Extensive amplification of the E2F transcription factor binding sites by transposons during evolution of Brassica species

Plant J. 2014 Mar;77(6):852-62


González V, Aventín N, Centeno E, Puigdomènech P.

High presence/absence gene variability in defense-related gene clusters of Cucumis melo

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:782 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-782


Podevin N, Davies H, Hartung F, Nogué F, Casacuberta J.

Site-directed nucleases: a paradigm shift in predictable, knowledge-based plant breeding

Trends in Biotechnology 6, 375-383 (2013)


Garcia-Mas J, Benjak A, Sanseverino W, Bourgeois M, Mir G, González V, Hénaff E, Câmara C, Cozzuto L, Lowy E, Alioto T, Capella-Gutiérrez S, Blanca J, Cañizares J, Ziarsolo P, Gonzalez-Ibeas D, Rodríguez-Moreno L, Droege M, Du L, Alvarez-Tejado M, Lorente-Galdos B, Melé M, Yang L, Weng Y, Navarro A, Marques-Bonet T, Aranda M, Nuez F, Picó B, Gabaldón T, Roma G, Guigó R, Casacuberta J, Arús P, Puigdomènech P.

The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.)

Proc Natl. Acad. Sci USA 109(29):11872-7 (2012)


Hernández-Pinzón I, Cifuentes M, Hénaff E, Santiago N, Espinas Ll, Casacuberta J.

The Tnt1 retrotransposon escapes silencing in tobacco, its natural host

PLoS ONE 7(3): e33816 (2012)


Hernández-Pinzón I, de Jesús E, Santiago N, Casacuberta JM.

The frequent transcriptional readthrough of the tobacco Tnt1 retrotransposon and its possible implications for the control of resistance genes

Mol. Evol 68, 269-278 (2009)