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Pedro Humberto Castro

Pedro Humberto Castro

Junior Researcher

Junior Researcher
Member type
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Monte-Crasto, 4485-661 Vairão

I have a degree in Applied Biology obtained in the University of Minho, a specialization in Plant Molecular Physiology from the University of Porto, and a PhD degree in Biology performed in the University of Minho and the University of Málaga, Spain. In addition, I was a postdoc researcher in the Section for Plant and Soil Sciences of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). 

At present, my main research lines in CIBIO-InBIO are: 

Plant environmental stress responses regulated by SUMO
I have been studying the biological significance of posttranslational modification by the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO), known as sumoylation, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. SUMO is an essential peptide that regulates protein activity involved in many signalling pathways/mechanisms operating during plant development and environmental stress responses (e.g. low water availability, salinity, extreme temperatures, pathogen attack, oxidative stress, and nutrient imbalance). 

Plant nutrition regulation and biofortification
Nutrient uptake in plants is regulated in accordance to its availability and is influenced by several environmental factors. In recent years, I have been studying how plants respond to micronutrient deficiency and, in particular, to zinc deficiency, which affects crop production and food quality. To address the zinc deficiency problem, I have been functionally characterizing AtbZIP19 and 23, which are key regulators in the zinc-starvation response, and investigating their conservation across plants, in order to evaluate the possibility of functional translation between Arabidopsis and crops.

Based on my know-how, I have been also searching for strategies to monitor plant nutritional quality and how to induce plant biofortification of essential nutrients for human health.

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