At the unit of Genetics we are interested in the molecular and genetic characterization of key aspects of plant development, such as organogenesis, microARN signaling and regeneration.
Main Research Lines
- Molecular and genetic analysis of leaf development in Arabidopsis thaliana, with the goal of identifying studying and manipulating genes that dictate the architecture of plant leaves.
- Structural and functional genomics. Gene mapping and large-scale genotyping.
- Identification and characterization of new elements in the microARN signaling pathway.
- Molecular mechanisms of plant regeneration in model and ornamental species.
- Genomic and functional analysis of the mTERF transcription factor family in plants: genetic and molecular characterization of mTERF genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.
The Bioengineering Institute of the Miguel Hernández University has different Genetics groups:
The major focus of research in our laboratory is on plant molecular genetics and genomics. Our areas of research include the genetic control of organogenesis in general and that of leaves in particular, and the development of techniques and platforms for the genetic characterization of model organisms. Most of our work is carried out on Arabidopsis thaliana.
Our broad interest is to contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of regulation of gene expression. Our research is basic, using Arabidopsis thaliana as an experimental model organism. We focus our studies on post-transcriptional gene silencing mediated by microRNAs. We also investigate the regulation of the biogenesis of the cytoplasmic ribosome, which involves the coordination of the synthesis and action of more than 300 ribosomal factors, and which has been poorly studied in plants.
Cellular dedifferentiation, the process by which a differentiated somatic cell reverts to an undifferentiated state, is a key process during tissue regeneration after wounding, in both plants and animals. Besides transcription factors, epigenetic factors also contribute to transcriptional reprogramming by creating an active or silent chromatin configuration; some of which are essential for maintaining stem cell activity.
A reverse genetics approach is being carried out in our laboratories in order to identify and characterize in Arabidopsis thaliana, mutants affected in nuclear genes encoding proteins involved in the flow of genetic information in chloroplasts and mitochondria. For most of the genes under study, no mutant phenotype had been previously described from the perturbation of their function. We have focused on two protein families: mitochondrial transcription termination factors (mTERFs) and chloroplastic ribosomal proteins (CRPs) or mitochondrial ribosomal proteins (MRPs). We aim to advance our understanding of the roles that mTERFs, CRPs and CRPs play in plant development, plant growth and plant adaptation to abiotic stresses, especially salinity.
The work of our group focuses on two main research themes. On the one hand, we are interested in genes that participate in the N6 methylation of adenosine residues in the mRNA, using the plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism. On the other, we are interested in developing applications for the analysis of next-generation sequencing data, at the interface between genetics and bioinformatics.