Sign In


Our group is focused on the study of bacterial plant diseases and approaches either studies addressed to clarify infection mechanisms. or the detection and characterization of their causal agents, both of them essential elements in disease control.

Grupo de investigación dependiente del

Plant Protection

In the Bacteriology group we approach two main research lines, one is addressed to the plant bacterial diseases diagnosis, and detection, identification and characterization of their bacteria. The other one is focused on bacteria-plant interaction and tries to go in depth into the mechanisms that rule infections.​

The interest of our research is mainly on Xanthomonas and but also more recently Candidatus Liberibacter, both with quarantinable species according to the UE directions. We work in these two models on bacterial detection and identification in order to avoid their introduction in an area when it is still possible.

In the last few years, we have developed an intensive activity regarding Xanthomonas arboricola genomics that resulted in the collection of genomes from strains of the pathovar pruni, that allowed us to deepen in the knowledge of virulence factors of these bacteria.

Moreover, we have worked on these and other Xanthomonas in survival and virulence features, performing research addressed to understand mechanisms such as motility/chemotaxis or biofilm formation, important elements in infection processes.

Our work is aimed to achieve a better control of plant bacterial diseases through a better knowledge of the causal agent bacteria.


Bacteria are major pathogens causing plant diseases and important economic losses in agricultural crops. We are mainly working in two bacterial genera which concern worldwide: Xanthomonas and Liberibacter.

Xanthomonas is a bacterial genus characterized by its diversity and host specialization and has been studied for a long time because of its phytopathological interest but also to be an interesting microbiological model. Liberibacter are non-culturable bacteria causing severe diseases like citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) and potato `zebra chip´.

Research in Xanthomonas

We have worked and currently work largely in two species of Xanthomonas: Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc), causal agent of citrus bacterial canker which is not present in Spain or any European or Mediterranean basin country, and Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni (Xap), which causes bacterial spot of stone fruits and almond, a disease recently described in Spain.

Our group has contributed to the knowledge on the bacterial mechanisms of infection. In X. citri, por example, we have been profusely working about its ability to form biofilm and its relationship with the host range of the different types of Xcc. In addition, to learn about the biofilm forming ability on plant surface and interior, we have identified elements involved in bacterial aggregate matrix that might be targets for chemical control in future approaches.

In X. arboricola, we work to elucidate those factors involved in the pathogen characteristics of these bacteria, for that, pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria from the same host are compared. We approach genomic analysis, trying to connect the results with phenotypic characters, for instance, assessing aggregation and motility in different environments. Moreover, we are very interested and work about biofilm composition matrix and chemotaxis and their link to host range

Results on Xcc and Xap have allowed us to develop hypotheses about the different host infection modes as it is reflected in an article recently published by our group.

Finally, in these two Xanthomonas models we work in developing new detection methods based many times on results from bacterial genetic analysis.

Research in Candidatus Liberibacter

In Candidatus Liberibacter spp. our group works developing detection protocols for these bacteria either to be applied in plant material or for insect vectors.

In the last few years, we have been involved in international and national projects addressed to evaluate detection techniques, and for instance, for HLB, of great interest for UE, and consider a priority pest which introduction must be avoided, we have published a manuscript lately.

We have been working in characterization of those Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) detected in different crops in Spain through sequencing approaches and phylogenetic analysis. Our effort has been directed mainly on CLso detected from potatoes and to do so we have been cooperating with plant protection services from the different Autonomous Communities in Spain.

Research aim

Our final goal is pathogen control on plant diseases, following two approaches: pathogen exclusion, avoiding bacteria introduction, especially those qurantinable species, in a free area. For that, it Is necessary to have a perfect pathogen identification through rapid and precise techniques of detection, identification and characterization. On the other hand, our work tries to lay the ground for new control approaches based in blocking any of the essential factors involved in virulence. To do so, it is crucial a deep knowledge of bacteria-plant interaction.


​Bacteriology​​ Members

Coordinador de Grupo

  • Jerson Garita Cambronero
    Genómica Comparativa de Cepas de Xanthomonas arboricola asociadas a Prunus spp.: Caracterización de los procesos de infección de la mancha bacteriana de los frutales de hueso y almendro (2017)
    Dirección: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Marta Sena Vélez
    Mecanismos implicados en primeras etapas de infección en la cancrosis de los cítricos causada por Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. (2015)
    Dirección: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Morteza Golmmohamadi
    Métodos de detección y estudios de supervivencia de Xanthomonas causantes de la cancrosis de los cítricos. (2009)
    Dirección: Universidad Politécnica de Valencia


The group cooperates with international organisms like EPPO/OEPP (European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization), EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) FAO/UN (Food and Agriculture Organization/United Nations) in plant protection.

Moreover, the group collaborates with national and international institutions, among them: University of Florida (USA), IVIA (Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research), CITA (Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragón), CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), ITACyL (Technological and Agricultural Institute of Castilla y León) and Plant Protection Services orfAutonomous Communities in Spain. ​

Este sitio web utiliza cookies propias y de terceros para su funcionamiento y con el fin de analizar las páginas más visitadas. Puede aceptar o rechazar nuestras cookies haciendo clic en los botones a continuación o visitando nuestra página de política de cookies. Se aplica una opción predeterminada de 'no consentimiento' en caso de que no se haga una elección y un rechazo no limitará su experiencia de usuario. Si desea obtener más información sobre nuestra política de cookies, haga clic en el botón "Más información" a continuación.