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).


Bergman M.E., Chávez A., Ferrer A., Phillips M.A.

Distinct metabolic pathways drive monoterpenoid biosynthesis in a natural population of Pelargonium graveolens (2020) Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 71 (1), pp. 258 -271 (DOI:10.1093/jxb/erz397)

De Pourcq K., Boronat A.

Fractionation of Tomato Fruit Chromoplasts (2020) Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), vol. 2083 pp. 189 -197 (DOI:10.1007/978-1-4939-9952-1_14)

Deng J., Xie X.-L., Wang D.-F., Zhao C., Lv F.-H., Li X., Yang J., Yu J.-L., Shen M., Gao L., Yang J.-Q., Liu M.-J., Li W.-R., Wang Y.-T., Wang F., Li J.-Q., Hehua E.E., Liu Y.-G., Shen Z.-Q., Ren Y.-L., Liu G.-J., Chen Z.-H., Gorkhali N.A., Rushdi H.E., Salehian-Dehkordi H., Esmailizadeh A., Nosrati M., Paiva S.R., Caetano A.R., Štěpánek O., Olsaker I., Weimann C., Erhardt G., Curik I., Kantanen J., Mwacharo J.M., Hanotte O., Bruford M.W., Ciani E., Periasamy K., Amills M., Lenstra J.A., Han J.-L., Zhang H.-P., Li L., Li M.-H.

Paternal Origins and Migratory Episodes of Domestic Sheep (2020) Current Biology, vol. 30 (20), pp. 4085 -4095.e6 (DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.077)

Garriga-Canut M., Yang J.-S., Preusser F., Speroni S., Gili M., Maurer S.P.

rec-Y3H screening allows the detection of simultaneous RNA-protein interface mutations (2020) Methods, vol. 178 pp. 19 -32 (DOI:10.1016/j.ymeth.2019.09.002)

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)