Biotechnological Assets Applied to Drought and Pests in Relevant Crops for Agribusiness

AL 01- Genomics and Proteomics (UnB, Embrapa Cenargen)

Supervisor: Robert N. G. Miller

Laboratory activities with INCT                                                                                             Collaborators

Integration data from monocotyledon transcriptome (rice, corn, wheat, Musa and sorghum) submitted to water deficit, generated by mass sequencing (Illumina - HiSeq) in previous projects.

LA5 LA6 LA9 LA11

Integration of transcriptome data from drought-tolerant genotypes of Musa spp., Arachis spp. And cowpea subjected to water deficit combined with biotic stress (Meloidogyne spp. Or Mycosphaerella) in bioassays

LA5 e LA9

Integration and sequencing of transcripts of fungus-tolerant genotypes in c subjected to multiple stresses (Musa X Mycosphaerella musicola and Fusarium oxysporun)


Validate the expression of key genes in the metabolic pathways of plants' response to combined stresses (biotic-biotic; biotic-biotic; abiotic-biotic) by qRT-PCR.

LA3 LA5  LA9

Sequence through the Illumina platform a fraction of small RNAs, and their target mRNAs, and circular plant RNAs (Arachis; Musa; soy; pitangueira; cashew) subjected to biotic and / or abiotic stresses.

LA2 LA5   LA6  LA9

Validate the function of plant genes identified in IDs 1 and 2 potentially involved in drought tolerance mechanisms in Arabidopsis, rice or Setaria plants by overexpression or silencing strategies.

LA2 LA3 LA4 LA5  LA11

Organize, maintain and share an in vivo bank of the innovation assets obtained in the project shared by INCT members.

Todas as LAs

Laboratory Description​

The Laboratory Genomics and Proteomics (SP1) carries out studies aimed at prospecting and identifying new genes, regulatory sequences and molecules involved with the resistance / tolerance responses of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses, aiming at the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of plants that occur in response to different stresses, combined or not. SP1 also performs the validation of function of these assets in model plants.


Research lines

• Prospecting for genes / molecules of interest for pest and drought control in wild germplasm of Musa spp.

• Prospecting of target genes / molecules in phytoparasitic nematodes (Meloidogyne sp.) And phytopathogenic fungi (Pseudocercospora spp.) Of interest for pest control​

• Prospecting for small RNAs (small RNAs) in plant genotypes that are resistant / tolerant to pests and drought that may be involved in responding to these stresses​

• Prospecting for genes / molecules that are efficient in pest control and tolerance to water deficit simultaneously (cross-stress).​

• Validation of prospective innovation assets by their overexpression or gene silencing in model plants for analysis and validation of their function​

- Infrastructure​

The SP1 laboratory has all the standard equipment needed for molecular analysis, with a Biosafety Quality Certificate (CQB) for the development of activities with genetically modified organisms (GMO). The Department of Cell Biology at UnB has ten laboratories covering different areas of research. The multi-user equipment infrastructure available includes automatic DNA sequencers, protein sequencers, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, confocal microscope, flow cytometer, mass spectrometers, analytical and preparative ultracentrifuges, HPLC, fermenters, refrigerated centrifuges, real-time PCR , phosphoimager, microcalorimeter, fluorescence spectrophotometers and circular dichroism, plasmon resonance spectrometer, -80oC ultrafreezers and other basic equipment used in the routine of research laboratories in molecular and cellular biology. The Department of Phytopathology at UnB is equipped with microscopes, magnifying glasses, freezers, refrigerators, equipment for molecular biology studies, a biological station with a place for field work, greenhouses, Fitotron growth chambers, and transport vehicles.

Our Team

Robert Neil Gerard Miller.JPG

Robert Neil Gerard Miller


Graduated in Biological Sciences - Manchester Metropolitan University, UK (1990), Master in Plant Protection - University Of Bath, UK (1991) and PhD in Molecular Biology and Phytopathology - University of Reading, UK (1995). He is currently Associate Professor I at the University of Brasilia (Campus Darcy Ribeiro, Department of Cellular Biology), supervising the Graduate Programs in Molecular Biology, Phytopathology and Microbial Biology. He worked between 2014 and 2016 as Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Molecular Biology (CAPES concept 6). He works as editor for the journals Annals of Botany and Tropical Plant Pathology, he is coordinator of national and international projects, mainly in the following themes: functional genomics of plants and microorganisms; search for genes for resistance to biotic stress in plants; and characterization of phytopathogenic and mycotoxigenic fungi.


Eliane Ferreira Noronha


Dra. Eliane F. Noronha graduated in Biological Sciences with a bachelor's degree from the University of Brasília (1994), and later specialized in doing the Master and Doctorate in Biological Sciences (Molecular Biology) of this same Institution. Currently is an Adjunct Professor IV exclusively dedicated to the University of Brasilia. She has experience in the field of Biochemistry, with an emphasis on Enzymology and Proteome Studies working mainly on the following topics: biochemistry of microorganisms, biological control, bioprospecting of enzymes of biotechnological interest, heterologous expression of proteins of biotechnological interest.


  • Gabriel Sergio Costa Alves - Lattes

  • Fernando Campos de Assis Fonseca - Lattes

  • Jose Dijair Antonino de Souza Junior - Lattes 



• Leticia Dias de Freitas - Lattes
• Tatiana David Miranda Pinheiro - Lattes

• Erica Cristina Silva Rego - Lattes

Master degree

  • Amanda Cristina de Araújo - Lattes


Robert Neil Gerard Miller

Laboratório de Microbiologia: Interação Planta-Praga, Bloco I-1-35/8,

Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Biologia Celular,  

Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Asa Norte, 70910-900, Brasília, D.F., Brasil.

Conheça nosso grupo de pesquisa junto ao CNPq

Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia Parque Estação Biológica - PqEB - Av. W5 Norte (final)

Tel: +55 (61) 3448-4705