About PDU

The Plant Development Unit (PDU) is a balanced mixture of researchers from the CSIC and the University of Seville that combines different approaches to study the molecular mechanism governing plant development. The research line of Dr. Federico Valverde is focused on the mechanisms that rule the flowering process, particularly those related with the photoperiodic and metabolic pathways. Prof. José M. Romero group investigates the mechanisms controlling starch and sugar biosynthesis and the role of carbon metabolism in development.  The research interest of Dr. Myriam Calonje group is directed to elucidate the epigenetic control of plant development, particularly the Polycomb group (PcG) mechanism. Finally, Dr. Fran Romero works in the integration of omic data using computational molecular system biology techniques to determine the gene regulatory networks underpinning physiological and developmental process in microalgae and plants.

The main objective of the PDU is to integrate these research lines to understand the interplay of three key regulatory elements in plant development- environmental signaling pathways, metabolism and epigenetic gene regulation. Molecular systems biology approaches based on the analysis and integration of omics is routinely applied in the PDU.

In addition, the research team has a special interest in elucidating the evolution of these regulatory mechanisms in plants by comparing the influence of external stimuli in key physiological processes (reproduction, stress, etc.) in model plant species and microalgae.