The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 53: 1219 - 1234 (2009)

Vol 53, Issue 8-9-10

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Hispania (Spain & Portugal)

Plant Developmental Biology in Spain: from the origins to our days and prospects for the future

Open Access | Review | Published: 30 November -0001

José-Pío Beltrán*

Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (CSIC-UPV), Laboratorio de Biología del Desarrollo Floral, Campus de la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain


The origins of modern Plant Developmental Biology in Spain can be traced back to a handful of scientists settled in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla, who devoted themselves to plant biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, and also to Drosophila developmental biology, which influenced, often unintentionally, the pioneers of this field. To reach the present day situation, the experience acquired in centres abroad has also been important, especially in plant research institutes in the USA, Germany (Max-Planck Institute für Züchtungsforschung) and United Kingdom (John Innes Centre). The contributions of Spanish scientists to the advancement of Plant Developmental Biology appears to be imbalanced towards reproductive biology, although relevant publications have also been reported on embryogenesis and seed development, shoot branching, tuberization, vascular morphogenesis, leaf development, regulation of development by light, signal transduction and hormone action and the connection between growth and development. Plant Developmental Biology in Spain is going through a flourishing time, with its future being highly dependent on i) appropriate funding conditions to its young scientists, ii) the opening of new areas of research, iii) the incorporation of technological breakthroughs into laboratories and iv) the carrying out of cooperative research by means of networking. Currently, besides many Departments of the Spanish universities, several centres in which competitive research in plant Developmental Biology can be accomplished, exist: the CNB and CBGP in Madrid, the LGMV CSIC-IRTA in Barcelona, the IBMCP CSIC-UPV, in Valencia and the IBVF CSIC-USE in Sevilla. Let's go for more!


Arabidopsis thaliana, seed size , shoot apical meristem, shoot branching, floral transition, tuberization, hormone action, circadian clock, symmetry, organ size and shape, vascular morphogenesis

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