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.


Pereira L., Santo Domingo M., Argyris J., Mayobre C., Valverde L., Martín-Hernández A.M., Pujol M., Garcia-Mas J.

A novel introgression line collection to unravel the genetics of climacteric ripening and fruit quality in melon (2021) Scientific Reports, vol. 11 (1), Art. number 11364 (DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-90783-6)

Campo S., Sánchez-Sanuy F., Camargo-Ramírez R., Gómez-Ariza J., Baldrich P., Campos-Soriano L., Soto-Suárez M., San Segundo B.

A novel Transposable element-derived microRNA participates in plant immunity to rice blast disease (2021) Plant Biotechnology Journal, vol. 19 (9), pp. 1798 -1811 (DOI:10.1111/pbi.13592)

Menna A., Dora S., Sancho-Andrés G., Kashyap A., Meena M.K., Sklodowski K., Gasperini D., Coll N.S., Sánchez-Rodríguez C.

A primary cell wall cellulose-dependent defense mechanism against vascular pathogens revealed by time-resolved dual transcriptomics (2021) BMC Biology, vol. 19 (1), Art. number 161 (DOI:10.1186/s12915-021-01100-6)

Thuenemann E.C., Byrne M.J., Peyret H., Saunders K., Castells-Graells R., Ferriol I., Santoni M., Steele J.F.C., Ranson N.A., Avesani L., Lopez-Moya J.J., Lomonossoff G.P.

A replicating viral vector greatly enhances accumulation of helical virus-like particles in plants (2021) Viruses, vol. 13 (5), Art. number 885 (DOI:10.3390/v13050885)

Kashyap A., Planas-Marquès M., Capellades M., Valls M., Coll N.S.

Blocking intruders: Inducible physico-chemical barriers against plant vascular wilt pathogens (2021) Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 72 (2), pp. 184 -198 (DOI:10.1093/jxb/eraa444)