Plant Biotechnology

The Department of Plant Biotechnology carries out studies on Biology, Physiology and Chemistry of plants with the aim of increasing the productivity and industrial use of agricultural and forest crops. On one hand, this research focuses on improving plant tolerance to environmental stress, with special emphasis on water and salt stress. This is achieved either by molecular biology tools, such as the identification of genes and proteins that increase this tolerance and its over-expression in transgenic plants, and through in vitro culture and clonal selection of plants better adapted to stress conditions. Additional studies are dealing with longevity and extreme abiotic stress tolerance in seed and plant vegetative tissues. On the other hand, other investigations are aimed at the valorization and chemical characterization of agricultural and forest crops, as well as the development of biotechnological tools, for a sustainable industrial utilization of plant biomass under the Biorefinery concept (for the integrated production of biofuels, chemical products and other commodities).

The Department of Plant Biotechnology comprises the following groups: