Genetic Transformation and Functional Genomics

Department of Plant Breeding
The research line is focused in the breeding of crops, mainly cereals, but also brassicas, legumes, and olive tree, for the development of new germplasm, better adapted, with higher added value, and/or new uses for traditional crops. The group uses classical breeding techniques and the state-of-the-art technologies: cytogenetics, molecular markers and mapping, transcriptomic, genetic transformation, and RNAi.

Novel studies focus on cereal chromosomal manipulation and on the use of biotechnological tools to facilitate the introgression into crops (mainly wheat) of genes of agronomic interest and to promote interspecific recombination in cereals.

Among the characters under study include the genetic control of carotenoids content in wheat and tritordeum grain; agronomic traits in olive, including oil content and yield components; disease resistance in legumes; bioethanol production from lignocellulosic material; bread-baking quality and nutritional properties of wheat and tritordeum; the development of new varieties of cereals suitable for coeliacs.


Antonio Martín Muñoz

Responsable del grupo Profesor de investigación

Francisco Barro Losada

Investigador científico

Sergio Gustavo Atienza Peñas

Científico titular

Pilar Prieto Aranda

Científica titular

Fernando Pistón Pistón

Investigador Ramón y Cajal

Myriam Villatoro Pulido

Postdoctoral fellow

María Dolores García Molina

Becaria predoctoral

Diego Dionisio González Espínola

Becario predoctoral

María Gabriela Mattera

Becaria predoctoral

Francisco José Ostos Garrido

Becario predoctoral

María Dolores Rey Santomé

Contratada predoctoral proyecto

Genetic transformation and RNAi has been used to develop varieties of durum and bread wheat with very low content of gliadins, major responsibles of triggering coeliac disease. Breads made using flours from these lines showed technological and organoleptic properties comparable to those of normal wheat. Therefore, they could be used in the elaboration of foods suitable for coeliac customers.

Cristina Rodríguez‑Suárez · Elena Mellado‑Ortega · Dámaso Hornero‑Méndez · Sergio G. Atienza. Increase in transcript accumulation of Psy1 and e‑Lcy genes in grain development is associated with differences in seed carotenoid content between durum wheat and tritordeum. Plant Mol Biol (2014) 84:659–673 DOI 10.1007/s11103-013-0160-y

Javier Gil-Humanes, Fernando Pistón, Stig Tollefsen, Ludvig M. Sollid, and Francisco Barro. (2010). Effective shut down in the expression of celiac disease related wheat gliadin T-cell epitopes by RNA interference. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107(39) 17023-17028. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007773107.

Calderón, MC., Ramírez, MC., Martín, A., Prieto, P. (2012) Development of Hordeum chilense introgression lines in durum wheat: a tool for breeders and complex trait analysis. Plant breeding 131:733-738 .

Martín, A. and E. Sánchez-Monge Laguna (1982). Cytology and morphology of the amphiploid Hordeum chilense x Triticum turgidum conv. durum. Euphytica 31: 262-267.

Navas-Lopez, J. F.; Ostos-Garrido, F. J.; Castillo, A.; Martin, A.; Gimenez, M. J & Pistón, F.. Phenolic content variability and its chromosome location in tritordeum. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2014, 5

  1. Interspecific hybridization
  2. Haploid production
  3. Genetic transformation of cereals
  4. Molecular markers for agronomic characters

 Antonio Pedro Martín Muñoz – Profesor de Investigación – Responsable del grupo
 Francisco Barro Losada – Investigador Científico
 Sergio Gustavo Atienza Peñas – Científico Titular
 Pilar Prieto Aranda – Científica Titular
 Fernando Pistón Pistón – Ramón y Cajal
 Enriqueta Alós Ros – Contratada postdoctoral
 María Dolores García Molina – Becaria predoctoral
 Diego Dionisio González Espínola – Becario Predoctoral
 María Gabriela Mattera – Becaria predoctoral
 Francisco José Ostos Garrido – Becario predoctoral
 Mª Dolores Rey Santomé – Contratada predoctoral proyecto
 Mª del Carmen Calderón Pérez – Titulada superior
 María José Giménez Alvear – Técnico de grado medio
 Carmen Victoria Ozuna Serafini – Contratada proyecto
 Tadeo Bellot Bernabé Técnico Superior de Actividades Técnicas y profesionales
 Ana María Pozo Cruz – Técnico de Laboratorio
 Ana Adela García Rul – Auxiliar de laboratorio
 Carmen Ramírez Alcántara – Ayudante de Investigación
 Encarnación Ramos Naz – Auxiliar de Investigación
 Susana Sánchez León – Estudiante master

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