Genetics and Genomics of Vegetable Crops

Group Structure

Group Leader: Jordi Garcia-Mas (IRTA Researcher)
Researchers: Marta Pujol
Postdoctoral Researchers: Konstantinos Alexiou (since June 2013), Jason Argyris, Diego Bergareche (until May 2013), Jordi Morata (since September 2013), Carlos Paniagua (since July 2013), Montse Saladié (until June 2013), Walter Sanseverino (until March 2014)
PhD Students: Pablo Madriz (until September 2013), Pablo Ríos, Juan Vegas (until June 2012)
Undergrad or Master Students: Pablo Félez, Marta Puig, Ignacio Sallent, Mª Alejandra Yáñez, Rodolfo Lavilla.
General Research Support: Vanessa Alfaro, Daniel Alonso, Albert Fernàndez, Fuensanta García, Àngel Ma Montejo, Alicia Norat (until 31/10/12),Marc Tormo.


We are interested in the study of complex traits that control fruit quality and disease resistance in melon (Cucumis melo L.). For this purpose we have been involved in the development of genetic populations and genomic tools to assist in the identification of the genes involved in the control of important traits as the type of fruit ripening or the accumulation of total sugars in the fruit flesh. The laboratory is also involved in the development of genomic and bioinformatic tools for their use in marker assisted selection programs in cucurbitaceae and solanaceae species, in collaboration with a partner seed company.

Research Projects

  • We are interested in the analysis of natural variability using re-sequencing of melon germplasm.
  • We are characterizing QTLs that are involved in fruit ripening in order to understand the molecular basis of the non-climacteric ripening found in the inodorus melon genotypes.
  • We are also interested in the characterization of QTLs that control the accumulation of sugars in the melon fruit with the objective of identifying  genes that can be used to develop varieties with stable sugar content.
  • In the framework of the Semillas Fitó-IRTA joint unit, we are interested in the development of molecular markers for their use in marker-assisted breeding of qualitative and quantitative traits in several plant species.

Selected Publications

Garcia-Mas J., Benjak A., Sanseverino W., Bourgeois M., Mir G., González V.M., Hénaff E., Câmara F., Cozzuto L., Lowy E., Alioto T., Capella-Gutiérrez S., Blanca J., Cañizares J., Ziarsolo P., Gonzalez-Ibeas D., Rodríguez-Moreno L., Droege M., Du L., Alvarez-Tejado M., Lorente-Galdos B., Melé M., Yang L., Weng Y., Navarro A., Marques-Bonet T., Aranda M.A., Nuez F., Picó B., Gabaldón T., Roma G., Guigó R., Casacuberta J.M., Arús P., Puigdomènech P.
The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.)
(2012) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, vol. 109, pp. 11872-11877

Chiriboga M.-A., Saladie M., Gine Bordonaba J., Recasens I., Garcia-Mas J., Larrigaudiere C.
Effect of cold storage and 1-MCP treatment on ethylene perception, signalling and synthesis: Influence on the development of the evergreen behaviour in ‘Conference’ pears
(2013) Postharvest Biology and Technology, vol. 86, pp. 212-220

Esteras C., Formisano G., Roig C., Diaz A., Blanca J., Garcia-Mas J., Gomez-Guillamon M.L., Lopez-Sese A.I., Lazaro A., Monforte A.J., Pico B.
SNP genotyping in melons: Genetic variation, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium
(2013) Theoretical and Applied Genetics, vol. 126 (5), pp. 1285-1303

Vegas J., Garcia-Mas J., Monforte A.J.
Interaction between QTLs induces an advance in ethylene biosynthesis during melon fruit ripening
(2013) Theoretical and Applied Genetics, vol. 126 (6), pp. 1531-1544

Yang L., Li D., Li Y., Gu X., Huang S., Garcia-Mas J., Weng Y.
A 1,681-locus consensus genetic map of cultivated cucumber including 67 NB-LRR resistance gene homolog and ten gene loci
(2013) BMC Plant Biology, vol. 13 (1), Art. number 53