Antonio Leyva

Group Leader



Research summary

The particular interest of my group is the identification of relevant genes involved in soil and water phytoremediation and/or nutrient uptake.






Mohan TC, Castrillo G, Zarco-Fernandez S, Navarro C, Ramireddy E, Zamarreño AM, Paz-Ares J, Muñoz R, García-Mina JM, Hernandez LE, Schmülling T & Leyva A. Cytokinin determines thiol-mediated arsenic tolerance and accumulation. Plant Physiol 2016; 171: 1418

Puga MI, Mateos I, Charukesi R, Wang Z, Franco-Zorrilla JM, de Lorenzo L, Irigoyen ML, Masiero S, Bustos R, Rodríguez J, Leyva A, Rubio V, Sommer H, Paz-Ares J. SPX1 is a phosphate-dependent inhibitor of PHOSPHATE STARVATION RESPONSE1 in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014; 111:14947-14952

Sánchez-Bermejo E, Castrillo G, Navarro C, del Llano B, Zarco-Fernández S, Martinez-Herrera DJ, Leo-del Puerto Y, Muñoz R, Cámara C, Paz-Ares J, Alonso-Blanco C, Leyva A. Natural variation in arsenate tolerance identifies an arsenate reductase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nat Comm 2014; 5:4617

Coego A, Brizuela E, Castillejo P, Ruíz S, Koncz C, Del Pozo JC, Piñeiro M, Jarillo JA, Paz-Ares J, León J; The TRANSPLANTA Consortium. The TRANSPLANTA Collection of Arabidopsis Lines: A resource for Functional Analysis of Transcription Factors based on their conditional overexpression. Plant J 2014; 6:944-953

Castrillo G, Sánchez-Bermejo E, de Lorenzo L, Crevillén P, Fraile-Escanciano A, TC M, Mouriz A, Catarecha P, Sobrino-Plata J, Olsson S, Leo Del Puerto Y, Mateos I, Rojo E, Hernández LE, Jarillo JA, Piñeiro M, Paz-Ares J, Leyva A. WRKY6 Transcription Factor Restricts Arsenate Uptake and Transposon Activation in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 2013; 25:2944-2957


memo fig 1In our group, we are interested in the characterisation of the molecular mechanisms involved in arsenic perception in plants. Arsenic contamination is responsible for the worst mass poisoning ever suffered by man, and is considered a silent threat to public health. Clean-up of arsenic-contaminated soils or arsenic entry into the food chain from crops irrigated with arsenic-contaminated water, of particular importance in rice, is therefore a priority concern for the World Health Organization (Mead, 2005. Environ Health Perspect, 113:A378). This chemical threat was particularly critical for the evolution of sessile organisms such as plants, which were forced to develop rapid tolerance responses when As(V) was present. We recently identified a QTL (quantitative trait locus) that accounts for the genetic variability for As(V) tolerance among Arabidopsis accessions worldwide. Molecular isolation and characterisation of this locus showed it encodes a plant arsenate reductase with potential applications in arsenic phytoremediation (Sanchez-Bermejo et al. Nat Comm, 2014; 5:4617). We also identified a transcriptional repressor that modulates expression of the arsenate transporter, thus identifying the molecular basis of an alternative strategy for plant adaptation to arsenic (Castrillo et al. Plant Cell 2013; 25:2944).

In collaboration with other groups, we contributed to the identification of a phosphate sensor (Puga et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014; 111:14947) and participated in the production of a collection of transgenic plants that conditionally express more than 600 transcription factors (Coego et al. Plant J 2014; 77:944). The research lines currently in progress in our laboratory will allow us to understand the mechanisms that underlie arsenic perception, which will open up new possibilities for phytoremediation of arsenic-contaminated soils and waters.

logolife150In collaboration with Dr Carlos Alonso Blanco from the CNB, we also study the application of natural isolates of duckweed aquatic plants for water phytoremediation. In particular, our lab is currently involved in the project “Duckweed technology for improving nutrient management and resource efficiency in pig” ( funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Commission (Grant number LIFE15 ENV/ES/000382). 

  memo fig 2



Antonio Leyva Tejada Principal investigator
Cristina Navarro Solaz Postdoctoral scientist
Cristian Mateo Elizalde Predoctoral student
Yolanda Leo del Puerto Technician
Sarra Arbaoui Visiting scientist  

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