Our research is focused on the identification of regulatory mechanisms underlying physiological plant processes related with several aspects of nitrogen metabolism and the influence of environmental constraints on plant performance. This allows a high interaction between technical aspects of the different research lines both at the basic and applied level, including those related to agricultural and other technological developments leading to several patents. Furthermore, the group strongly interacts with private agro-food companies.
Our research is focused around six major themes:
1. Nitrogen in agriculture (including basic aspects of plant nitrogen nutrition).
2. Nitrogen fixation in legumes: metabolic regulation and agricultural aspects.
3. Herbicides inhibiting amino acids biosynthesis: mode of action and resistance
4. Plant antioxidants: bio- and nanotechnological applications
5. Plant root proteomics: Mechanisms involved in plant responses to drought.
6. Carbon and nitrogen assimilation and partitioning in cereals and pastures in the context of climate change.
In terms of plant growth facilities, the research group has access to greenhouses, walk-in plant growth chambers and phytotrons. Research laboratories are well-equipped for classical biochemistry and molecular biology techniques, as well as for techniques to measure plant bioproductivity (photosynthesis, fluorescence, etc.) and water status (pressure chamber, psycrometer, porometer, etc.). Additional equipment includes two capillary electrophoresis sets (diode array and fluorescence detection), a state-of-the-art ionic chromatography system with conductivity and amperometric-pulse detection, and a stable isotopes mass spectrometer.
Although the group shares techniques and equipment, each research line is funded through independent, competitive grants. At the national level, the group is highly active in research networks and members are frequently invited to participate in PhD panels, belong (or have belonged) to Executive Committees of several Spanish scientific societies (Biotechnology, Nitrogen Fixation, Weed Science, Plant Physiology) and have been invited to participate in national organisms for Research Evaluation and Funding (National Scheme for Research, Ramon y Cajal and Juan de la Cierva Programmes) and Quality Assurance of Higher Education at the national (ANECA) and regional levels (UNIBASQ, ACSUCYL, etc.). At the international level, members of the group are reviewers of the most relevant journals in the field of Plant Physiology (New Phytologist, Plant Physiology, Plant Cell Environment, Plant Journal, Journal Experimental Botany…) and Agriculture (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Soil Biology and Biochemistry…), as well as of multidisciplinary journals (Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, Current Biology,) and some of them are (or have been) members of Editorial Boards of journals such as Physiologia Plantarum and Environmental and Experimental Botany. They also serve as part of evaluation panels for different foreign agencies (France, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa…) and International Organisms (International Foundation for Science, i. e.). The group regularly participates in some of the most relevant scientific conferences related with the above-mentioned research lines with relevant roles in organization and participation (as part of the scientific committees, invited lectures, chairing sessions, etc.)
The scientific production of the research group can be found in the following sections, but it is worth mentioning that most papers are published within the Q1 of the corresponding field according to JCR (with a high proportion within the D1). Some of them have been highlighted in Essential Science Indicators, have been cover of several publications and have received different awards.
The research activity of the group is regularly monitored by the Spanish Agency for Evaluation and Prospective (ANEP) within a programme developed by the UPNA to boost quality research, being ranked among the best research groups of the University. Most of the authorships in our publications are shared with foreign researchers which clearly reflects our interest for collaborative and international research.
Contact: Prof. Dr. Cesar Arrese-Igor
Departamento de Ciencias del Medio Natural
Campus de Arrosadia - Ed. Los Olivos
Tel. +34 948 169119
Contact by E-mail