and Food Spoilage Fungi
Our first focus is to enhance the knowledge of the pathogen’s virulence and specificity mechanisms and the defence responses of the fruits against pathogens and non-pathogens as an important step to guide the search for new control treatments alternative to the fungicides currently in use. We use genomics approaches to unravel pathogencity mechanisms. We are also involved in developing new methods to control postharvest diseases, from biological control agents to new chemical compounds that target pathogen’s virulence factors.
Ochratoxin A defective Aspergillus carbonarius mutants as potential biocontrol agents
Functional Role of Aspergillus carbonarius AcOTAbZIP Gene, a bZIP Transcription Factor within the OTA Gene Cluster
Coordinated activation of the metabolic pathways induced by LED blue light in citrus fruit
Studies on fruit-pathogen interaction
Research in our working group is related to the characterization of the postharvest interaction between apple and citrus fruits and fungal pathogens of the genus Penicillium, main rots of these crops. Currently, we are using molecular genetics, genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic strategies, with the aim of understanding the basis of compatible and incompatible interactions between fruit and pathogen. We are addressing both fruit defense responses against different fungi and the mechanisms and determinants of pathogenicity and virulence of the fungus.
Reduction of mycotoxin levels in food
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium, among others, which represent a serious risk for human and animal health. Our approach is discovery of effective control systems that can replace the current fungicides to reduce the development of mycotoxigenic fungi, and to that end, reduce mycotoxin contamination
Mechanism of action
Development and characterization of the mechanism of action o new alternative physical, chemical and biological treatments to control postharvest fungal pathogens. We focus on treatments that either induce resistance in the fruit (i.e. irradiation with light at different wavelengths) or that affect fungal viability or pathogenicity.