Chamber of Cultive

Our main goal is to study the effects and responses to environmental factorsin the symbiotic interaction between soil bacteria and legumes in order to improve the efficiency of biological nitrogen fixation under stress conditions.

Biological nitrogen fixation provides a natural source of nitrogen to plants which has a critical role to achieve sustainable agricultural production systems. An increment in the natural nitrogen sources would reduce the dependence on synthetic fertilizers with a concomitant reduction of the negative effect derived of their extensive use such as, water and air pollution responsible of global warming and other environmental factors limiting crops production and food supply. A more efficient and sustainable resource utilization has become a priority to cope with the consequences of climatic changes.
The Nitrogen Fixation Group of the University of Granada is particularly interested in study the impact of soil salinity on the rhizobium-legume symbiosis, since this factor is responsible of the reduction of productivity of many crops in the Mediterranean regions, among which are included legumes. In addition, legumes are good candidate species for the restoration of unproductive soils due to their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen and incorporate it to the soil.
Most of our studies address the involvement of hormones and growth regulators, such as abcisic acid, brassinosteroids or polyamines, in the alleviation of the negative effects caused by salinity on the symbiosis and the biological nitrogen fixation process. In our studies utilize molecular and biochemical approaches in order to identify genes and molecules suitable as stressmarkers that will allow to increase the knowledge of the mechanisms behind the stress resistance of this important process. In addition we have used genetically modified rhizobial strains with the aim to determine their contribution towards the symbiosis stress resistance.
We take advantage of Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus as model legumes and we apply our knowledge to the study of traditional grain legumes such as Phaseolus vulgaris or Medicago sativa.

Currently, we are initiating a project whose purpose is focused on the study of the potential of microorganisms commonly present in the rhizosphere to improve the resistance of plants with agronomic interest to stress by salinity. Specifically, as a novel aspect, it is intended to improve the ability of legumes to fix nitrogen under conditions of salt stress by co-inoculation with fungi of the genus Trichoderma.

In relation to our previous experience in the study of the implication of polyamines in the response to salinity in the rhizobium-legume symbiosis, in the new project we intend to know the influence of the oxidation of polyamines in the interaction with different types of rhizospheric microorganisms, due to the production of H2O2, involved in the signaling of the symbiotic and defensive responses.

Universidad de Granada OTRI- Oficina de Transferencia de Resultados de Investigación FEDER-Fondo Europeo de Desarollo Regional