Plants are a primary source of nutrients, materials and chemicals for humans. The Plant Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering Programme aims to generate fundamental knowledge of how plants control their primary and secondary metabolism to respond to environmental cues, and to improve the quality of plant products.

In particular, our Programme addresses the study of the organization and regulation of metabolic pathways for the production of isoprenoids (mainly sterols and carotenoids) and lignocellulosic material. These pathways impact fruit and seed quality, nutritional content, digestibility, bioenergetic value, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress.

The experimental approaches include biochemistry, genetics, molecular and cell biology, and advanced plant systems methodologies like transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic analyses. A substantial part of the research activities are performed in well-established models and crop plants (for example, Arabidopsis, tomato and maize).


Ortiz-Alcaide, M., Llamas, E., Gomez-Cadenas, A., Nagatani, A., Martínez-García, J.F., Rodríguez-Concepción, M.

Chloroplasts modulate elongation responses to canopy shade by retrograde pathways involving hy5 and abscisic acid (2019) Plant Cell, vol. 31 (2), pp. 384 -398 (DOI:10.1105/tpc.18.00617)

Forestier, E., Romero-Segura, C., Pateraki, I., Centeno, E., Compagnon, V., Preiss, M., Berna, A., Boronat, A., Bach, T.J., Darnet, S., Schaller, H.

Distinct triterpene synthases in the laticifers of Euphorbia lathyris (2019) Scientific Reports, vol. 9 (1), Art. number 4840 (DOI:10.1038/s41598-019-40905-y)

Salazar, R., Pollmann, S., Morales-Quintana, L., Herrera, R., Caparrós-Ruiz, D., Ramos, P.

In seedlings of Pinus radiata, jasmonic acid and auxin are differentially distributed on opposite sides of tilted stems affecting lignin monomer biosynthesis and composition (2019) Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, vol. 135 pp. 215 -223 (DOI:10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.12.008)

Gramegna, G., Rosado, D., Sánchez Carranza, A.P., Cruz, A.B., Simon-Moya, M., Llorente, B., Rodríguez-Concepcíon, M., Freschi, L., Rossi, M.

PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3 mediates light-dependent induction of tocopherol biosynthesis during tomato fruit ripening (2019) Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 42 (4), pp. 1328 -1339 (DOI:10.1111/pce.13467)

Rodriguez-Concepcion, M., Avalos, J., Bonet, M.L., Boronat, A., Gomez-Gomez, L., Hornero-Mendez, D., Limon, M.C., Meléndez-Martínez, A.J., Olmedilla-Alonso, B., Palou, A., Ribot, J., Rodrigo, M.J., Zacarias, L., Zhu, C.

A global perspective on carotenoids: Metabolism, biotechnology, and benefits for nutrition and health (2018) Progress in Lipid Research, vol. 70 pp. 62 -93 (DOI:10.1016/j.plipres.2018.04.004)