Blanca Landa del Castillo

  1. Biology, ecology and biogeography of plant pathogens and their antagonistic microorganisms in the rhizosphere: Relationships with agricultural soil use, integrated disease management strategies, and climatic change.

  2. Development of integrated disease management practices by combined use of host resistance, certified healthy plant material, modification of agronomic practices, and stimulation of indigenous populations of beneficial soil microorganisms or application of selected microbial strains.

  3. Design and application of bioindicators and metagenomics approaches to characterize the biological fertility and phytosanitary status of agricultural soils and their level of suppressiveness to soilborne plant pathogens.

  4. Molecular diagnosis (identification, detection and quantification) and genetic diversity assessment of plant pathogens and their biocontrol agents.

Landa, B.B., Montes-Borrego, M. Aranda, S., Soriano, M.A., Gómez, J.A., and Navas-Cortés, J.A. 2014. Soil type and management system determine the structure and diversity of soil bacterial communities in commercial organic olive orchards at Southern Spain. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 6: 196-207.

Montes-Borrego, M., Metsis, M., & Landa, B.B. 2014. Arbuscular mycorhizal fungi associated with the olive crop across the Andalusian landscape: Factors driving community differentiation. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96397. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096397

Montes-Borrego, M. & Navas-Cortés, J.A., and Landa, B.B. 2013. Linking microbial functional diversity of olive rhizosphere soil to management systems in commercial orchards in southern Spain. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 181:169-178.

Aranda, S., Montes-Borrego, M., Jiménez-Díaz, R.M. and Landa, B.B. 2011. Microbial communities associated with the root system of wild olives (Olea europaea L. subsp. europaea var. sylvestris) are good reservoirs of bacteria with antagonistic potential against Verticillium dahliae. Plant and Soil 343:329-345.

Aranda, S., Montes-Borrego, M., and Landa, B.B. 2011. Purple-pigmented violacein-producing Duganella spp. inhabiting the rhizosphere of wild and cultivated olives in Southern Spain. Microbial Ecology, 62:446-59.

  • Application of next generation sequencing approaches to study total microbial populations (fungi, Archaea, bacteria, mycorrhiza) and nematodes inhabiting the soil and rhizosphere of crops and the changes induced in their populations by agronomic practices.
  • Identification and typing of microbial cultures by traditional and molecular approaches.
  • Design of ‘à la carte’ molecular methods for detection and quantification of microorganisms in different complex matrices (soil, plant, water, food).
  • Characterization of the genetic diversity of microbial populations at different scales by diverse molecular approaches (AFLP, RFLP, SSR, MLST, phylogenetic analysis, etc.)
  • Isolation, identification, characterization and selection of biocontrol agents of plant pathogens.
  • Evaluation of chemical and natural products, microorganisms, fertilizers, and plant strengtheners for their effect on plant growth and disease control.
  • Evaluation and selection of plant varieties for their level of resistance to plant pathogens.
  • Gut microbiota analysis by next generation sequencing approaches.

Coordinator and participant in the Expert course “Innovaciones en el diagnóstico y gestión integrada de enfermedades, plagas y malas hierbas de cultivos y masas forestales”, Universidad de Córdoba-CeiA3-AESaVe, 2014.

Coordinator and participant in the Training Network Courses “‘Advanced course in quarantine plant pathogenic bacteria for the European Union”, from Agrifood Campus of International Excellence CeiA3 2014.