Research activities focus on virus-plant interaction, specifically the Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV) that affects the majority of Citrus plants. Recent interests are focused on CTV-host interaction to study host factors that interact with CTV.
Recent interests are also on the development of biosensors for the early detection of citrus plants infected with CTV by using integrated optical devices. Rapid and inexpensive diagnosis of viral infections is a key issue to prevent epidemics of Tristeza, caused by severe isolates of CTV.
The research lines in development are:
a) development of biosensors for the early detection of citrus plants infected with viruses by using integrated optical devices.
b) investigation on CTV-host interaction to analyse molecular signals linking Citrus host response to CTV infection.
c) A transcriptomic analysis of Citrus plants subjected to biotic (CTV) and abiotic (drought condition) stresses is an ongoing investigation of the group.
d) Analysis of virus population in Pitaia Vermelha will be carried out in the scope of a new Project to implement the culture of Fruta Dragão in Algarve region.