Plant Biochemistry

Summary of the research lines

Plant Biochemistry

The Plant Biochemistry research group is one of the consolidated research groups that belong to the Biological Research Institute. This group introduced in 1980 the field of study of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that are induced in plants against both biotic and abiotic stress. All publications, PhD and Degree Thesis developed and being developed in the group, contribute to the development of strategies for crop integrated management and the utilization of plant peptides and other compounds, as antimicrobial and therapeutic agents.

The current projects in the group are:

Financial support

  • PICT-2017- 2348- ANPCyT. Sobreexpresion estable de las proteinas Stap3 y Stsbt4_1 en papa como una nueva herramienta para incrementar la resistencia a P. infestans. Director: Dra. Guevara María Gabriela.
  • PIP 2015-2017 N°11220150100596CO -CONICET. Aplicación biotecnológica de Fitoproteasas en agroindustria, la industria alimenticia y en la industria farmacéutica. Director: Dra. Guevara María Gabriela.
  • UNMDP 2018- 2019-15/E844- EXA886/18. Aspartil Proteasas Típicas: caracterización funcional y participación en la respuesta a estrés en plantas. Director: Dra. Guevara María Gabriela.


grupal bioquimica vegetal


1- Plant Proteases Laboratory:

Proteases exert critical roles in different plant developmental processes as well as stress responses. However, our understanding of biochemistry, biology and biotechnology potential of plant proteases (PP) is at its beginning. Identification of native substrates (degradomes), correlation of processing events with biological processes and a better understanding of structure-function relationships are, therefore, crucial tasks to understand the role of proteases in plant biology. Several studies implicate PPs as important players in developmental processes/stress responses. Based on the huge potential of system-wide proteomic approaches, our goal is to generate an integrated platform of knowledge on proteases, their substrates, and their function – thereby enabling the elucidation of the biological roles of proteases in plants.

gustavo daleo


Dr. Gustavo R. Daleo

Principal Researcher of Scientific Research Commission of the Province of Buenos Aires (CIC).Professor University of Mar del Plata (UNMDP)

Gustavo R. Daleo joined the IIB in 1985, as head of the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory. He is a Professor of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, National University of Mar del Plata. Professor Daleo received his degree of Licenciado and his PhD in Chemical Sciences from the Buenos Aires University in 1976. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Biology Department, Bariloche Foundation (1976-1977) and at the Department of Biochemistry, Michigan State University (1977-1979). In 1980 he arrived at the University of Mar del Plata. At the IIB, he introduced the field of study of biochemical and molecular mechanisms in plant defense against pathogens and abiotic stress. His research group has produced Ph.D. Thesis and publications that may contribute to the formulation of strategies for integrated crop management and to the use of plant proteins, peptides and other compounds as antimicrobial and therapeutic agents.

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+54 223 4753030

maria guevara


Dra. María Gabriela Guevara

Independent Researcher of National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) - UNMDP

María G. Guevara graduated in Biology (BSC. 1996) at the University of Mar del Plata (UNMDP), Argentina. She got her PhD in 2003 in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Mar del Plata including a short research stay at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of Coimbra (CNC), University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. During 2001- 2006 period she worked in elucidate the role of aspartic proteases in the plant defense mechanism towards pathogens, being the first research to report the bifunctional activity (proteolytic/ antimicrobial) of these enzymes. Additionally, she start to research in the mechanism of action of these enzymes and their domains. Gabriela Guevara is currently the leader of the Plant Proteases Laboratory in the Biological Research Institute (IIB) of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and University of Mar del Plata. Her research strategies and activities are mainly focused on proteolytic enzymes in both basic and applied research in biotechnology, in areas as diverse as health, plant biology and food applications. Specific examples of these activities include the use of plant proteases as: 1- new tools to increase plant resistance to biotic and/ or abiotic stresses; 2- to generate new vrennets and new hydrolases that increase the value of the dairy industry secondary products; and 3- as new thrombolytic and antiplatelet agents for use free and / or immobilized on biostable polymer surfaces.

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+54 223 4753030

alfonso pepe

Bioq./Lic. Alfonso Pepe


Alfonso is interested in the study of plant proteases as new thrombolytic and antiplatelet agents for use free and / or immobilized on biostable polymer surfaces.

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+54 223 4753030

claudia tonon

Dra. Claudia Virginia Tonón

Technical staff

Support staff Principal CIC

2- Plant Induced Resistance Laboratory:

Potato is the most important horticultural crop in Argentina and the fourth in the world regarding its nutritional importance. Under normal growth conditions, production should be three times higher, given the demand for food in the world. Argentina is an important exporting country of processed potato products. This requires high standards of yield and quality. This crop is threatened by the effects of Climate Change (CC), being very sensitive to drought, floods UV-B radiation and pressure of pathogens. CC models predict losses between 30-50% in 30 years. Phosphites (Phi) have shown excellent effects in the control of diseases, yield and quality of the crop, contributing to the sustainable management of potato crop without damage to the environment. This project is committed to contribute to the utilization of new mitigation and adaptation strategies against the deleterious effects of CC, in important industrial potato varieties that are threatened. The general objective is to study the effect of Phi on the tolerance of potato to extreme climatic events and diseases, through phytopathological, biochemical and molecular analysis, in order to contribute to adopt strategies of low environmental impact.

  • Role of polyamines in the responses induced by phosphites.
  • Molecular mechanisms involved in phosphite-mediated tolerance to UV-B radiation stress. Role of Salycilic acid.

Lic. Natalia Oyarburo


Dra. Florencia Rey