The photosynthesis group deals with studies related to the physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of food crops and other photosynthetic model organisms to understand the response of plants to adverse environments, investigating the basic fundamentals of photosynthesis, mechanisms of regulation of primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism and cellular redox status.
Climate change poses a threat to food security because of its impact on crop yield and quality, especially in vulnerable regions such as the Mediterranean where drought and high spring temperatures limit agricultural productivity. Faced with the social challenge of meeting the growing global demand for food and promoting agricultural sustainability, our scientific objectives are focused on the selection of more resilient varieties with better nutritional quality and productivity.
In this context, we are investigating natural genetic diversity in response to the increase in CO2 and atmospheric temperature expected by the end of the century, using a collection of CIMMYT wheat genotypes tolerant to warm temperatures grown in IRNASA climate chambers. The evaluation of photosynthesis, primary and antioxidant metabolism, yield and grain nutritional quality demonstrates that exploring genotypic variability is a useful approach to ensure sustainable production in the face of climate change.
Our group is also interested in the study of mechanisms of metabolic regulation and oxidation/reduction balance in cells related to the reversible chemical modification of thiol groups in proteins. For this purpose, we use a combination of different techniques including biophysical, biochemical, bioinformatics and structural biology tools, including diffraction and X-ray scattering.