Welcome to the PGB Group
Our research group is interested in the design of innovative agricultural goods using genomics, biotechnology and synthetic biology tools.
Our main experimental system is the tomato fruit, and our aim is to increase its added value with new shapes, colors, aromas and healthy properties. For this, we browse the natural variability of tomato-related wild species in order to identify loci conferring fruit quality traits. Once those loci are identified, we use marker-assisted breeding to transfer them to modern tomato cultivars. Moving beyond the limits imposed by sexual hybridization and natural variability, we also make use of biotechnology tools as multigene engineering and genetic transformation to bring new quality traits into the tomato genome.
In a second line of research, we employ Synthetic Biology tools and principles for engineering plant biofactories of added-value products. In our lab, we have learnt how to build increasingly complex genetic instructions at the DNA level. By introducing these instructions into the genome of solanaceae species as tomato, tobacco and especially Nicotiana benthamiana (a tobacco relative), our goal is to re-direct the genetic program of the plant towards the synthesis of added-value products. Assisted by Agrobacterium tumefaciens and sometimes by viral vectors, we learn how to produce high levels of fine chemicals as antibodies, lectins, or snake anti-venoms in a short period of time.