Genomics of Phosphorus use-efficiency (PUE) in Arabidopsis thaliana

As an important macronutrient, phosphorus is required for almost all regulatory, molecular and physiological processes in all living forms. Phosphorus (P) deficiency is a major limitation for plants worldwide. It has been estimated that 5.7 billion hectares of land worldwide are deficient in P. In order to overcome this problem, application of P fertilizer has increased a lot in the last years causing serious problems to the environment such as eutrophication and the exhaustion of resources of rock phosphate.

Some plants have learned how to take up phosphate more efficiently from the soil and redistribute it. The identification of these genes through genetic variation will help us to make plants more efficient to P deficient soils as well as to reduce the impact of P fertilizers. Although a lot of progress has been made in the past and many genes related to PUE have been already characterized, a new and exciting field is arising by applying genome wide association mapping studies to find QTLs using genetic natural variation and then unravel genes and networks under PUE, what makes the genomics of PUE a more powerful and fascinating field.


My research is focused on using the natural genetic variation to identify so far unknown regulatory and structural genes of Arabidopsis involved in PUE. A collection of 350 accessions, called the Hap Map collection that comprises Arabidopsis accessions collected all over the world, is being used for genome wide association mapping in order to find QTLs. Later QTL validation and functional genomics will be used to get to the candidate gene(s) underlying PUE. Final aim will be to characterize and understand the role of these genes and to extrapolate this information to Brassica.

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  • PhD 2009-Present: Lab of Genetics, Wageningen UR. Thesis title: Genomics of phosphor use efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana
  • MSc 2006-2008: Plant Biotechnology, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Brazil
  • BSc 2002-2006: Biological Sciences, State University of the Southeastern of Bahia (UESB), Brazil.