Research Projects

In recent years, we have focused on studying agronomic traits that influence the food quality and food safety:

•Biochemical and molecular basis of peanut seeds resistance to aflatoxigenic Aspergillus colonization.

Resistant and susceptible accessions to aflatoxin contamination have been identified in a germplasm collection. In these accessions, the metabolic and genetic studies have led to relate specific defense pathways with the resistance to aflatoxin contamination. We are currently studying the role of oxylipins and protease inhibitors as defense mechanisms in peanut seed against fungal infections.

•Nutraceutical (natural substances that have therapeutic action) and organoleptic properties in the tomato fruit:

We have developed an analytical platform to study the composition and bioactivity of metabolites in tomato fruit. With these tools we are participating in different studies with national (Dr. Carrari F., INTA, Dr. E. Valle, IBR,. Dr. I. Peralta, Fac Agrarias-UNCuy, Dr. Santiago A., INFIQC-UNC.) and international (Dr. M. Rossi, USP-Brazil) laboratories:

-Characterizing composition and bioactivity of antioxidant compounds in a population of tomato landraces from Argentine northwest and wild species.

-Studying the regulatory mechanisms of tocopherols biosynthesis in tomatoes.

-Studying in the nematode C. elegans the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in stress resistance and aging of tomato bioactive compounds.

-Studying compounds related to tomato flavor, through the integration of metabolic composition analysis (volatiles compounds, sugars and organic acids) and sensory analysis.


-Almeida J, da Silva Azevedo M, Spicher L, Glauser G, vom Dorp K, Guyer L, Carranza AV, Asis R, Pereira de Souza A, Buckeridge M, Demarco D, Bres C, Rothan C, Pereira Peres LE, Kessler F, Hörtensteiner S, Dörmann P, Carrari F, and Rossi M. Down-regulation of tomato PHYTOL KINASE strongly impairs tocopherol biosynthesis and affects prenyllipid metabolism in an organ-specific manner. J. Exp. Bot. 2015 In press.

-López MG, Zanor MI, Pratta GR, Stegmayer G, Boggio SB, Conte M, Bermúdez L, Coluccio Leskow C, Rodríguez GR, Picardi LA, Zorzoli R, Fernie AR, Milone D, Asís R, Valle EM, Carrari F. Metabolic analyses of interspecific tomato recombinant inbred lines for fruit quality improvement. Metabolomics . 2015;11(5):1416-31.

-Almeida J, Asís R, Molineri VN, Sestari I, Lira BS, Carrari F, Peres LEP, Rossi M. Fruits from ripening impaired, chlorophyll degraded and jasmonate insensitive tomato mutants have altered tocopherol content and composition. Phytochemistry . 2015;111:72-83.

-Quadrana L, Almeida J, Asís R, Duffy T, Dominguez PG, Bermúdez L, Conti G, Corrêa Da Silva JV, Peralta IE, Colot V, Asurmendi S, Fernie AR, Rossi M, Carrari F. Natural occurring epialleles determine vitamin e accumulation in tomato fruits. Nat Commun . 2014;5.

-Bermúdez L, De Godoy F, Baldet P, Demarco D, Osorio S, Quadrana L, Almeida J, Asis R, Gibon Y, Fernie AR, Rossi M, Carrari F. Silencing of the tomato sugar partitioning affecting protein (SPA) modifies sink strength through a shift in leaf sugar metabolism. Plant J . 2014;77(5):676-87.

-Griboff J, Morales D, Bertrand L, Bonansea RI, Monferrán MV, Asis R, Wunderlin DA, Amé MV. Oxidative stress response induced by atrazine in palaemonetes argentinus: The protective effect of vitamin E. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf . 2014;108:1-8.

-Llorente B, López MG, Carrari F, Asís R, Di Paola Naranjo RD, Flawiá MM, Alonso GD, Bravo-Almonacid F. Downregulation of polyphenol oxidase in potato tubers redirects phenylpropanoid metabolism enhancing chlorogenate content and late blight resistance. Mol Breed . 2014;34(4):2049-63.

-Müller V, Amé MV, Carrari V, Gieco J, Asis R. Lipoxygenase activation in peanut seed cultivars resistant and susceptible to aspergillus parasiticus colonization. Phytopathology . 2014;104(12):1340-8.

-Quadrana L, Almeida J, Otaiza SN, Duffy T, da Silva JVC, de Godoy F, Asís R, Bermúdez L, Fernie AR, Carrari F, Rossi M. Transcriptional regulation of tocopherol biosynthesis in tomato. Plant Mol Biol . 2013;81(3):309-25.

-Quadrana L, Rodriguez MC, López M, Bermúdez L, Nunes-Nesi A, Fernie AR, Descalzo A, Asis R, Rossi M, Asurmendi S, Carrari F. Coupling virus-induced gene silencing to exogenous green fluorescence protein expression provides a highly efficient system for functional genomics in arabidopsis and across all stages of tomato fruit development. Plant Physiol . 2011;156(3):1278-91.

-Almeida J, Quadrana L, Asís R, Setta N, De Godoy F, Bermúdez L, Otaiza SN, Corrêa Da Silva JV, Fernie AR, Carrari F, Rossi M. Genetic dissection of vitamin e biosynthesis in tomato. J Exp Bot . 2011;62(11):3781-98.

-Bazzini AA, Asís R, González V, Bassi S, Conte M, Soria M, Fernie AR, Asurmendi S, Carrari F. MiSolRNA: A tomato micro RNA relational database. BMC Plant Biol . 2010;10

12. Kamenetzky L, Asís R, Bassi S, de Godoy F, Bermúdez L, Fernie AR, van Sluys M-, Vrebalov J, Giovannoni JJ, Rossi M, Carrari F. Genomic analysis of wild tomato introgressions determining metabolism-and yield-associated traits. Plant Physiol . 2010;152(4):1772-86.

-Asis R, Muller V, Barrionuevo DL, Araujo SA, Aldao MA. Analysis of protease activity in aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus on peanut seed infection and aflatoxin contamination. Eur J Plant Pathol . 2009;124(3):391-403.

-Bermúdez L, Urias U, Milstein D, Kamenetzky L, Asis R, Fernie AR, Van Sluys MA, Carrari F, Rossi M. A candidate gene survey of quantitative trait loci affecting chemical composition in tomato fruit. J Exp Bot . 2008;59(10):2875-90.

-Carrari F, Asis R, Fernie AR. The metabolic shifts underlying tomato fruit development. Plant Biotechnol . 2007;24(1):45-55.

-Asis R, Barrionuevo DL, Giorda LM, Nores ML, Aldao MA. Aflatoxin production in six peanut (arachis hypogaea L.) genotypes infected with aspergillus flavus and aspergillus parasiticus, isolated from peanut production areas of cordoba, argentina. J Agric Food Chem . 2005;53(23):9274-80.

-Di Paola RD, Asis R, Aldao MAJ. Evaluation of the degree of starch gelatinization by a new enzymatic method. starch . 2003;55(9):403-9.

-Talavera B. T.; Bonacci G.; Azar N.; Aldao M.; Asis R.; Antolín M.; Riga C. Antibody Response against avenin in children with celiac disease Alergia e Inmunología Clínica, 2004; 21 (3-4): 86-96.

-Asis R, Di Paola RD, Aldao MAJ. Determination of aflatoxin B1 in highly contaminated peanut samples using HPLC and ELISA. Food Agric Immunol . 2002;14(3):201-8.