Our laboratory is focused on using biotechnology to address important challenges of interest for the citrus industry, including the incessant demand of the market to generate citrus types resistant to emerging diseases that are ravaging the world citrus industry such as Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus black spot. Another research line of the group is based on increasing the content of specific micronutrients or healthy phytochemical compounds in citrus fruits, in order to improve their nutri-functional properties. We, therefore, intend to develop new varieties that meet the current needs of the citrus industry, in addition to serving as tools to broaden our understanding of the role of terpene volatiles, flavonoids and carotenoids from fruits in their interactions with the biotic environment. Another recent line of research is to determine the role of the terpenes present in orange peel in the interaction of citrus fruits with frugivorous animals, and their consequences on citrus seed dispersal in natural environments. The main research lines of our group are:
• Generating varieties repellent/resistant to major insect vectors and pathogens affecting citrus such as Diaphorina citri (vector of the bacterium that causes HLB), Phyllosticta citricarpa (which causes citrus black spot) or Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (causing citrus canker), among others.
• Bring an added value to citrus fruits by increasing their content in healthy compounds such as specific carotenoids and anthocyanins, as well as cloning and characterizing specific fruit promoters from citrus for biotechnological use.
• Modulation of vegetative development of citrus varieties by using dwarfing rootstocks and induction of early flowering/fruiting in juvenile plants as a tool for rapid analysis of flower/fruit improvement traits.
• Studies on the consumption of fruits by animals, seed dispersal and possible naturalization of transgenic citrus trees under field conditions.
Other Group Members
Temporary VisitorsStefania Benici (estudiante en estancia)
Rodrigo, MJ; Lado, J., Alós, E., Alquézar, B., Dery, O., Hirschberg, J., Zacarías, L (2019)A mutant allele of ζ-carotene isomerase (ZISO) is associated with the yellow pigmentation of the “Pinalate” sweet orange mutant and reveals new insights into its role in fruit carotenogenesisBMC Plant Biology 19:465
Ruiz-Ruiz, S., Navarro, B., PEÑA, L., Navarro, L., Moreno, P., Di Serio, F., Flores, R (2019)Citrus Tristeza Virus: Host RNA Silencing and Virus Counteraction. Citrus Tristeza Virus: Methods and ProtocolsMethods in Molecular Biology 2015: 195-207
Soler, N., Plomer, M., Fagoaga, C., Moreno, P., Navarro, L., Flores, R. and PEÑA, L (2019)Methods for producing transgenic plants resistant to CTV. Citrus Tristeza Virus: Methods and ProtocolsMethods in Molecular Biology 2015: 229-243
Cifuentes-Arenas, J.C., Beattie, G.A.C., Peña, L., Lopes, S.A (2019)Murraya paniculata and Swinglea glutinosa as short-term transient hosts of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ and implications for spread of Huanglongbing.Phytopathology
Caland, R.B.O., Cadavid, C.O.M., Carmona, L., PEÑA, L., Oliveira, R.P (2019)Pasteurized orange juice rich in carotenoids protects Caenorhabditis elegans against oxidative stress and β-amyloid toxicity through direct and indirect mechanismsOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Article ID 5046280,
Carmona, L., Alquézar, B., Tárraga, S., PEÑA, L (2019)Protein analysis of Moro blood orange pulp during storage at low temperaturesFood Chemistry 277: 75-83
Peris J.E., Malara T., Borges R., Falconi J.R., Peña, L., Fedriani, J.M. (2019)Reunion in the overseas: introduced wild boars and cultivated orange trees interact in the Mata Atlântica (Brazil).International Journal of Tropical Biology 67 (4): 901-912
Felisberto, P.A.C, Girardi, E.A., PEÑA, L. Felisberto, G., Beattie, G.A.C., Lopes (2019)Unsuitability of indigenous South American Rutaceae as potential hosts of Diaphorina citriPest Management Science, DOI 10.1002/ps.5304
Wulff, Nelson A., Marques, Viviani V., Peris, Josep Enric., Pons, Elsa, Sanches, Andre L., Peña, Leandro (2018)Biossegurança de árvores frutíferas geneticamente modificadas no campo: o caso dos cítricosBiossegurança de árvores. Capítulo 12
Ruiz-Ruiz, S., Spàno, R., Navarro, L., Moreno, P., PEÑA, L. and Flores, R (2018)Citrus tristeza virus co-opts glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase for its infectious cycle by interacting with the viral-encoded protein p24
Plant Molecular Biology