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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.

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