University of Hertfordshire

Dr Cristina Barrero Sicilia




Dr. Barrero-Sicilia is Lecturer in Biomedical Science (Genetics) at the Department of Clinical, Pharmaceutical and Biological Science. Cristina is an expert plant molecular biologist focused in elucidating plant biological mechanisms such as seed development/germination or plant response to abiotic stresses, and transferring the acquired knowledge in model plants to improve traits in agronomic crops.

Research highlights 

By exploiting the potential of disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology, bio-imaging and mathematical modelling and computing, I build up my research career underlying the biochemistry and gene regulation networks governing plant physiology.

Working with model plants (such as Arabidopsis, tobacco) and crops (mainly maize and barley), during my PhD I achieved the molecular characterization of the MYB-R1 transcription factor, now considered as the master regulator of cell differentiation in the transfer cells of the seed (University of Alcala, Spain). In Prof. Carbonero’s lab (Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics, Madrid, Spain) I conceived and developed the system A. thaliana-Brachypodium dystachion-barley for the study of the DOF and bZIP transcription factor families as regulatory networks operating during seed development, germination and subsequent reserve mobilization. In the Lipidomic Group (led by Prof. J. Napier) at Rothamsted Research (UK) I worked on how the oil metabolism operates in an extremophile plant, Eutrema salsugineum, that has the traits of oil synthesis and stress tolerance (P.I. Dr. R. Haslam and Dr. L. Michaelson). 

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