Plant Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering
Plants are a primary source of nutrients, materials, and chemicals for humans. The Plant Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering Program aims to generate fundamental knowledge of how plants control their primary and secondary metabolism to respond to environmental cues and eventually improve the quality of plant products.
In particular, the Program addresses the study of the organization and regulation of metabolic pathways for the production of isoprenoids (mainly sterols and carotenoids), lignocellulosic material, and storage lipids. 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 our research activities is performed in well established models and crop plants (mainly Arabidopsis, tomato and maize) but we also aim to explore new potential models.