The interest of the group is primarily focused in the field of food biotechnology, specifically in the improvement of filamentous fungi and yeast to optimize the production of enzymes (xylanase, beta-glucosidase, ramnosidasas, etc.) and metabolites (linalool, geraniol, citronellol, geranyl acetate, etc.) that enhance the organoleptic and /or functional characteristics of foods and beverages. In this context, the group maintains areas of basic research in the regulation of gene expression, analysis of gene function and the characterization of the uptake and utilization of sugars.
The group has participated in several projects on the genomic annotation of filamentous fungi and currently maintains contacts of both national and international nature (Biotechnology of lignocellulosic materials / BIO2011-15394-E and MYCELIUM // BFU2011-13804-E; EUROFUNGBASE / Coordination Action FP6-2004-LIFESCIHEALTH-5 and BIOFLAVOUR / COST Action FA0907).
- Identification and characterization of genes encoding fungal enzymes involved in the enzymatic degradation of plant cell walls. Expression of such genes in (i) wine yeasts to increase the aromatic content of the wines; (ii) yeasts and filamentous fungi to increase the soluble fibre content in bakery products and flavonoid bioavailability in fruit juices.
- Characterization of the mechanisms involved in regulating the expression of the aforementioned genes. Identification, characterization and manipulation of the genes involved in such regulation.
- Biochemical and genetic characterization of sugar uptake systems in filamentous fungi and their manipulation to improve the production of enzymes.
- The development of new systems of gene expression for enzyme overproduction in Aspergillus.
- Metabolic engineering in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of monoterpenes and other bioactive terpenoids in wines and other fermented beverages.