Potato – Potato Virus Y Molecular Interactions
We are studying the interactions between potato and Potato Virus Y (PVY), a pathogen that is currently threatening the potato industry, and trying to identify control methods against PVY. In particular, through transcriptomics analyses, we have identified genes whose expression change substantially upon PVY inoculation. We are characterizing the function of those genes in the context of resistance to PVY.
Plant B vitamins metabolism
We are investigating genetic and environmental factors that control folate and thiamin accumulation in food crops to find strategies that maximize the nutritional content of crops. In particular, we are evaluating wild relatives of potato as potential source of genes for high vitamin content that could be used for breeding potato varieties enriched in vitamins. We are also pursuing biotechnology approaches to boost vitamins content in crops, in particular in the endosperm (“white rice”) of rice.