Genetics, Breeding and Biochemistry of Brassica Crops


Group presentation and research lines

The work with Brassica crops began in the 80s with the foundation of a germplasm bank of the main local crops of the Brassica genus present in Galicia. At the end of the 90s, the group takes on its own entity. From this moment, the conservation and documentation of the germplasm bank was continued as well as new lines of research were initiated.


At present, the main objectives of the group focuses on to study of the basic mechanisms that brassica crops use to cope with different stresses and to study the main secondary metabolites in these crops. The group investigates on different vegetable brassica crops (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, leaf rape…) belonging to the three horticultural species of the Brassica genus. This research is divided into three specific objectives:

  1. Genetic improvement of vegetable brassicas to obtain adapted crops to diverse environmental conditions. This includes the development of new improved varieties in their nutritional qualities, tolerance to stresses and production, with added value for sustainable agriculture, for processing and to the end user.
  2. Role of secondary metabolites and their genetic regulation in the interaction of the plants with the environment.
    1. Biotic stresses: Resistance of brassica crops to the lepidoptera pests, focused on Mamestra brassicae, and to bacterial and fungus pathogens, focused on Xanthomonas campestris and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.
    2. Abiotic stresses: Effect of temperature in physiology and biochemistry of brassicas.
    3. Circadian rhythm: Effect of photoperiod on secondary metabolites on brassica crops and the model species Arabidopsis thaliana.
    4. Endophytic fungi: Effect on the plant fitness.
  3. Anti-cancerigeous effect of isothyocianates derived from glucosinolates (citotoxicity, antimetastatic effects, epigenetic markers) in cancer cultures lines of breast and prostate. In this way, we can confirm the beneficial properties attributed to these crops for their positive features on human health.

At present, we are a reference group in vegetable Brassica research at national level. In the last years our presence at international level has been also increased. The future objective is to boost our visibility through new collaborations with international groups and to transfer technology to companies of the agro-food sector.

Group staff

Grupo de Genética, Mejora y Bioquímica de Brásicas

NombrePuestoExtensiónTeléfono directoemailsede
María Elena Cartea González Investigadora Científica 430235 986596105 se.cisc.gbm@aetrace Pontevedra
Pablo Velasco Pazos Científico Titular 430236 986596106 se.cisc.gbm@ocsalevp Pontevedra
Víctor Manuel Rodríguez Graña Tit. Sup. de Act. Téc. y Prof. 430237 986596107 se.cisc.gbm@zeugirdormv Pontevedra
María Pilar Soengas Fernández Científica Titular 430238 986596108 se.cisc.gbm@sagneosp Pontevedra
Marta Francisco Candeira Investigadora, Ramón y Cajal 430239 986596109 se.cisc.gbm@ocsicnarfm Pontevedra
Margarita Lema Márquez Tit. Sup. de Act. Téc. y Prof. - Doctora se.cisc.gbm@amelm Pontevedra
Carmen Vega Álvarez Tit. Sup. de Act. Téc. y Prof. 430251 986596118 se.cisc.gbm@agevc Pontevedra
Sonia Coves Mora Tit. Sup. de Act. Téc. y Prof. se.cisc.gbm@sevocs Pontevedra
María Díaz Urbano Tit. Sup. de Act. Téc. y Prof. se.cisc.gbm@zaidm Pontevedra
María Jesús Llevot Sánchez Ayudante de Investigación I+D+I 430240 986596110 se.cisc.gbm@tovelljm Pontevedra
Rosaura Abilleira Ambroa Colaboradora I+D+I 430240 986596110 se.cisc.gbm@ariellibar Pontevedra
Juan Carlos Fernández Fernández Ayudante de Investigación I+D+I 430240 986596110 se.cisc.gbm@zednanrefcj Pontevedra