Welcome to the Plant Virus Biotechnology Lab


Plants host a large variety of infectious agents that frequently cause damage to crops and natural ecosystems. The first goal of our research group is to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie the interaction between plants and some of these pathogens, such as viruses and viroids. From this knowledge we expect to develop new biotechnological strategies for crop protection and innovation. In addition, we believe that we can take advantage of the remarkable biological properties of plant viruses and viroids by converting them into useful biotechnological devices. Our second goal is to develop systems to produce products of interest (proteins, metabolites, RNAs, nanoparticles...) in biofactory plants using conveniently engineered viruses and viroids. We envision a future in which cultivated plants will be the most reliable and sustainable source of food, feed, fibers, fuel, and pharmaceutical and chemical products for human kind.

More specifically, some of the ongoing projects in our research group aim to:

1. Decipher how viroid RNAs are able to replicate in plant cells. See Cordero et al. 2018, Front. Microbiol. PubMed

2. Understand the plant defensive response to virus infection. See Cordero et al. 2017, Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. PubMed

3. Identify resistance genes to virus infection. See Aragonés et al. 2019, Eur. J. Plant Pathol. EJPP

4. Develop biotechnological strategies to protect plants against virus and viroids. See Carbonell et al. 2017, Mol. Plant Pathol. PubMed; or Carbonell et al. 2019, Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. PubMed

5. Produce health promoting carotenoids and anthocyanins in plants using viral vectors. See Majer et al. 2017, Sci. Rep. PubMed; or Cordero et al. 2017, Front. Microbiol. PubMed

6. Produce large amounts of recombinant RNAs using a viroid-based vector system. See Daròs et al. 2018, Sci. Rep. PubMed; Cordero et al. 2018, J. Vis. Exp. PubMed

7. Develop viral vectors to produce recombinant proteins in plants. See Majer et al. 2015, Biotechnol. J. PubMed; or Shi et al. 2019, Plant Biotech. J. PubMed

8. Build synthetic gene circuits to regulate gene expression in plants. See Cordero et al. 2018, ACS Synth. Biol. PubMed

Our group is part of the Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP), a joint venture between Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV).