Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC)

Research Activity

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is the largest public research institution in Spain and the third in Europe. It consists of 120 research institutes and units nationwide, conducting research in different areas of knowledge, 23 of which conduct research in agricultural and plant sciences. CEBAS-CSIC research is devoted to improve agricultural and food development and innovation within a sustainable use of natural resources in semiarid environments. The Plant Pathology group from its Biology of Stress and Plant Pathology Department conducts research to generate the knowledge needed, create the research abilities, as well as to transfer the technology, to develop and implement sustainable control strategies for viral diseases affecting horticultural crops.

Researchers participating in EMERAMB:

  • Miguel Aranda - Principal researcher
  • Yolanda Hernando
  • Pedro Gómez
  • Blanca Gosálvez

Research interests:

Specific research lines include: (i) Genetic resistance to control plant pathogenic viruses. The work deals with three aspects: (i.a) Identification of new sources of resistance. (i.b) Analysis of molecular mechanisms controlling resistance. (i.c) Analysis of resistance durability. (ii) Cap-independent translation of viral and host mRNAs. Many plant viruses (in particular those belonging to the family Tombusviridae) contain specialized structural elements at their 3´-UTRs that function as cap-independent translation enhancer elements (3´-CITEs). We are characterizing the structure and function of 3´-CITEs and the host factors interacting with them (iii) Viral factories: description, composition and function. Virus-induced organelles often house the viral RNA replication complex and are known as viral factories. We are working on the characterisation of viral factories associated with Melon necrotic spot virus and Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV). (iv) Ecology and evolutionary dynamics of emerging plant viruses. Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are historically one of the most important problems in agriculture. Viruses cause the majority of EIDs in plants. Recent examples of EIDs in the Mediterranean Basin include those induced by PepMV and Tomato torrado virus in tomato, Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus, Moroccan watermelon mosaic virus and Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus in cucurbits. We are studying the ecology, genetic diversity and evolutionary dynamics of these viruses to understand the factors and processes governing the emergence of viral diseases.