We aim to develop molecular strategies to support plant selection and breeding programs, to apply biotechnology to the development of company’s strategies and to train researchers in plant biotechnology and plant molecular biology.
Our laboratory (http://www.itqb.unl.pt/research/plant-sciences/plant-cell-biotechnology) use and develop molecular tools to shorten the time need to identify desired genotypes in selection or breeding programs and to alter a specific genotype to cope with a specific challenge: a disease or an environmental stress.
We use genomic – DNA arrays, qRT-PCR, Genotyping (SNPs and SSRs) and Southern and northern blots - and proteomic – 2D electrophoresis and Mass spectrometry - tools to identify genes and alleles involved in plant adaptation to specific conditions and to understand the regulations of their expression either at the transcriptional or at the post-transcriptional level. We employ in vitro culture and DNA recombinant technologies - cloning, sequencing and genetic transformation - to modify the expression of genes or to introduce new genes in specific crops.
We have a special interest in legumes and their adaptation to environmental conditions. We take advantage of Medicago truncatula as a model plant and we apply our knowledge to the study of traditional grain legumes. Attention is also being given to grapevine and olive, aiming the analysis of molecular diversity of cultivated and wild populations as well as the association of phenotypic and genotypic markers through linkage disequilibrium analysis
Recently two specific groups were created within the Laboratory, one dealing with Quantitative Plant Genetics leaded by Carlota Patto and the other dealing with Woody Plants Genomics leaded by Jorge Paiva.
Trindade I., Capitão C., Dalmay T., Fevereiro M.P., Santos D.M. (2010) miR398 and miR408 are up-regulated in response to water deficit in Medicago truncatula. Planta 231: 705-716.
Santos A.R., Miguel A.S., Tomaz L., Malhó R., Maycock C., Vaz Patto M.C., Fevereiro P., Oliva A. (2010) The impact of CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots in cells of Medicago sativa in suspension culture. Journal of Nanobiotechnology 8:24.
Vaz Patto M.C., Rubiales D. (2009) Identification and characterization of partial resistance to rust in a germplasm collection of Lathyrus sativus L. Plant Breeding 128: 495-500.
Paiva J.A.P., Garcés M., Alves A., Garnier-Géré P., Rodrigues J.C., Lalanne C., Porcon S., Le Provost G., da Silva Perez D., Brach J., Frigerio J.-M., Claverol S., Barré A., Fevereiro P., Plomion C. (2008) Molecular and phenotypic profiling from the base to the crown in maritime pine wood-forming tissues. New Phytologist 178: 283-301.
For further information please visit ITQB laboratory's website
PhD 1(992) Habilitation (2003)
Head of the Laboratory of Plant Cell Biotechnology
Phone (+351) 214 469 447