Main research focus

Fruit Functional Genomics and Biotechnology Lab

FFGB Lab is interested in studying fruit ripening and fruit defense. We have been gathering knowledge on the transcriptome, hormonome and metabolome associated with these processes. Particularly relevant are the study of transcription factors identified as key regulators of fruit ripening and defense based on omics data. Additionally, we focus not only on the general primary and secondary metabolisms but also on targeted studies on cell wall components, hormones and volatiles associated with fruit quality and defense. We also explore physiological responses induced under drought and/ or infection with fungal pathogens and how the microbiome is changed in these scenarios. In a near future, we plan to implement epigenetic studies to integrate with these molecular, physiological, and biochemical data.

Our main goal is crop improvement and to this end we use multiomics analyses to select key genes for functional analysis using gene editing.


International and National Projects

Principal investigator

2021-2024 (International) MiDiVine Innovative Approaches Promoting Functional Microbial Diversity for a Sustainable Grapevine Health and Productivity in Vineyard Systems of Mediterranean Areas

2020-2025 (International) “vWISE” Vine and Wine Innovation through Scientific Exchange H2020-MSCA-RISE 2019. Grant agreement ID: 872394

2007-2010 (International) ERA-PG/0004/2006 Genomic Research-Assisted breeding for Sustainable Production of quality GRAPEs and WINE (GRASP). ERA-Net Plant Genomics

2018-2022 (National) Transcriptome and metabolome reprogramming in Vitis vinifera cv. Aragonês and Vitis rupestris berries upon infection with Erysiphe necator. Project financed by FCT PTDC/ASP-HOR/28485/2017

2017-2019 (National) Functional genomics applied to the study of grape ripening and biotic stress responses in grapevine. FCT Investigator IF/00169/2015 (Development stage)

2017 (National) Internal BIOISI project: The study of the reprogramming of metabolism of Trincadeira grapes upon infection with Botrytis cinerea: hormonal changes and impact in aroma development

2010-2013 (National) Transcript and metabolic responses associated with susceptibility of Trincadeira grapes to Botrytis cinerea. Impact on regular ripening and flavour development PTDC/AGR-GPL/100919/2008.

Co-Principal Investigator

2021-2014 (National) Biochip microfluídica para deteção de biomarcadores de stress em videiras e uvas (VineSense). PTDC/BAA-DIG/4735/2020  PI: Virginia Chu, INESC-MN

2019 (National) Internal BIOISI project: Grape microbiome and wine characteristics: new implications of terroir  PI: Margarida Couto

2018 (National) Internal BIOISI project: A cell model to study UV-B effect in Vitis vinifera L.  PI: Paula Lopes

2018 (National) Internal BIOISI project: GraPoBio – Grape pomace on biological systems  PI: Pedro Falé


2021-2024 (National) Diagnostic platforms applied to Trunk Diseases in Grapevine TRUNKBioCode. PTDC/BAA-DIG/1079/2020

2019-2023 (International) COST CA18210: Oxygen sensing a novel mean for biology and technology of fruit quality

2019 (National) Internal BIOISI project: Development of Botrytis cinerea DNA-based detection assays: HRM and Biosensor

2018-2022 (National) Biosíntese de compostos secundários no bago de uva: estudo do papel do plastídeo (LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-028165)

2018-2022 (National) Combining “omics” with molecular, biochemical and physiological analyses as an integrated effort to validate novel and easy-to-implement drought mitigation strategies in grapevine while reducing water use. (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030341)

2018-2022 (International) COST CA17111: Data integration to maximise the power of omics for grapevine improvement

2016-2019 (National) Powdery Mildew susceptibility in grapevine: phenotype-genotype linkage in the Portuguese germplasm (PTDC/AGR-PRO/4261/2014)

2012-2016 (International) COST FA1106: Quality fruit

2010-2013 (National) Genetic analysis of suber differentiation in Quercus suber L. PTDC/AGR-AAM/100465/2008

2010 (National) ESTs Corkoak Consortium- Cork quality. FCT, SOBREIRO/0038/2009

2009-2010 (National) ESTs Corkoak Consortium- Cork production. FCT, SOBREIRO/0017/2009

2007- 2011 (International) COST FA0605: Signalling control of stress tolerance and production of stress protective compounds in plants