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Genomics and Biotechnology


This programme focuses on understanding the organisation and variability of the genomes of crops in order to elucidate the genetic basis of important traits for crop improvement. Researchers combine a wide range of genetic, genomic, metabolomic, bioinformatic and phenotypic approaches mainly in melon, peach, apple and strawberry. In melon, main research lines are fruit ripening characterisation, genome variability in germplasm collection and studying the complex resistance to Cucumber Mosaic Virus. In fruit trees, linkage mapping and genome-wide association studies are conducted to shed light on the genetics of fruit quality, resistance to biotic and abiotic stress and other agronomic traits; strategies for the fast and efficient introgression of valuable genes into high-quality cultivars are also developed. In strawberry, the genomes of wild and cultivated strawberries are compared in order to characterise quantitative traits as fruit flavour, sugar, aromas and nutritional quality.



Relevant scientific publications:


Alioto, T., Alexiou, K., Bardil, A., Barteri, F., Castanera, R., & Cruz, F. et al. (2019). Transposons played a major role in the diversification between the closely related almond and peach genomes: results from the almond genome sequence. The Plant Journal, 101(2), 455-472. doi:10.1111/tpj.14538

Zhao, G., Lian, Q., Zhang, Z., Fu, Q., He, Y., & Ma, S. et al. (2019). A comprehensive genome variation map of melon identifies multiple domestication events and loci influencing agronomic traits. Nature Genetics, 51(11), 1607-1615. doi:10.1038/s41588-019-0522-8

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