Genetics of Plant-Environment Interactions
Welcome to the website of the Alcázar Lab at the University of Barcelona. We study the genetic and molecular bases for the adaptation of plants to their local environments. We focus on the evolutionary adaptation of plant populations to abiotic and biotic stresses, which are major challenges for plant survival. Derived from our basic research, we investigate ways for improving stress protection.
For a more detailed view of our research, please have a look at our Research Projects and Scientific Publications sections. You can follow an updated list of our activities and publications in the NEWS section below.
CURRENT AREAS OF RESEARCH
1. Natural variation and evolution of immune resistance genes in plants.
Plant resistance to pathogens is an important field of research with direct applications and we study it from an evolutionary, population genetics and molecular view. We currently study the molecular bases and evolution of Resistance genes and other loci that condition immune activation. We do so by studying Arabidopsis natural hybrids that exhibit activation of defense and fitness loss. We explore the mechanisms that have naturally evolved in plant populations to resist against pathogens and how the immune receptor repertoire is selected and diversified. At the direct interface between plants and the environment, we study how temperature modulates some plant immune responses.
2. Natural variation of abiotic stress tolerance and adaptation
We investigate the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the naturally occurring tolerance to abiotic stresses in plant populations. We're currently studying the genetic bases for the naturally occurring variation of stress protective metabolites that condition resistance in plants in collaboration with other laboratories.
11 Dec 2014. Exploring the maintenance and diversity of plant immunity genes in nature in PLoS Genetics by Alcázar et al.
E-book in Frontiers in Plant Science 2014, by Antonio F. Tiburcio and Rubén Alcázar, Eds. Editorial article by Ruben Alcazar & A.F. Tiburcio in Frontiers in Plant Science 2014: Plant polyamines in stress and development: an emerging area of research in plant sciences
Review: The Roles of Polyamines during the lifespan of plants:from development to stress Tiburcio AF, Altabella T, Bitrián M and Alcázar R. (2014) Planta 240: 1-18.
PLoS Genet 2014 highlight by Max Planck Institute, Cologne. 11.12.14.
Arabidopsis semidwarfs: the green revolution in nature 02.12.2013. University of Barcelona.
Hybrid plants with over-reactive immune system 17.11.2010. Max Planck Society.
Rubén Alcázar is Ramón y Cajal Researcher at the Department of Natural Products, Plant Biology and Soil Science of the University of Barcelona.
Research in Alcázar Lab is supported by:
- 7th Framework Programme. Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (DISEASENVIRON, PCIG10-GA-2011-303568) of the European Union.
- Ramón y Cajal Program (RYC-2011-07847) of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spain).
- BFU2013-41337-P grant of the Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Spain).