The goal of our research programme is to understand how plants respond to stresses caused by biotic and abiotic factors. We study how plants recognize pathogens and sense adverse environmental conditions, how these signals are transduced and which physiological and biochemical responses to stress are triggered. We also investigate the biological cycle of relevant pathogens and the genes that control their virulence. 

The teams in our programme work on different crops (rice, melon, solanaceous plants, etc.), as well as on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana studying their interaction with important plant pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. We study antimicrobial peptide production, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of plant defence responses, and cell death in disease resistance. Our research also aims at understanding the interactions between defence and development and plant responses to combined stresses. 

In collaboration with agro-biotech companies, we also devote our efforts to apply the acquired knowledge to obtain crops with enhanced resistance to pathogens and better adapted to changing environmental conditions.


Phukan U.J., Stael S., Gonçalves A., Van Breusegem F., Coll N.S.

Detection and Quantification of Protein Aggregates in Plants (2023) Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 2581 pp. 221 -228 (DOI:10.1007/978-1-0716-2784-6_15)

Nieto C., Catalán P., Luengo L.M., Legris M., López-Salmerón V., Davière J.M., Casal J.J., Ares S., Prat S.

COP1 dynamics integrate conflicting seasonal light and thermal cues in the control of Arabidopsis elongation (2022) Science Advances, vol. 8 (33), Art. number eabp8412 (DOI:10.1126/sciadv.abp8412)

Giordano A., Santo Domingo M., Quadrana L., Pujol M., Martín-Hernández A.M., Garcia-Mas J.

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing uncovers the roles of CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE 1 and REPRESSOR OF SILENCING 1 in melon fruit ripening and epigenetic regulation (2022) Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 73 (12), pp. 4022 -4033 (DOI:10.1093/jxb/erac148)

Salguero-Linares J., Lema-Asqui S., Salas-Gómez M., Froilán-Soares A., Coll N.S.

Detection and Quantification of the Hypersensitive Response Cell Death in Arabidopsis thaliana (2022) Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 2447 pp. 193 -204 (DOI:10.1007/978-1-0716-2079-3_16)