The main aim of the lab is to contribute to decipher the genetic bases underlying the mechanisms through which plants adjust their growth and development to a constantly changing environment, which is crucial to maximize crop yield. To achieve this aim we use a comparative functional genomic approach, combined with more classic genetic, molecular and physiological approaches. We use Arabidopsis thaliana, Solanum tuberosum and Nicotiana tabacum as model systems.
A secondary aim of the lab is to develop new tools and/or methods to encourage the use of plants as vehicles for the abundant and economic expression of bio-medically relevant proteins to be used as vaccines, antigens, antibodies, etc. A reduction in the manufacturing costs of such key reagents should facilitate access to health monitoring and treatment to everybody.The questions we address include: How do plants synchronize their growth and development with the daily and seasonal changes in their environment? How do they measure the passage of time? How circadian clocks contribute to integrate responses to environmental cues, such as light signals, with edogenous mechanisms controlling growth and development? How much natural genetic variation exists associated with the ability of plants to adjust their growth and development to daily and seasonal changes in the environment, and how can we use knowledge of such genetic variation to improve crop productivity?