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


AL 02- Transcriptomics, Epigenetics and Functional Genomics - (UFRGS)

Supervisor: Rogério Margis

Laboratory activities with INCT                                                                                             Collaborators

Sequencing of a genotype of a species native to Brazil (pitangueira).


Sequencing of transcriptomes associated with the response to drought of native species in Brazil (wild peanuts; pitangueira; Clúsia; and cashew) by large-scale sequencing.


Identify and select in silico candidate genes related to drought tolerance of native species (wild peanuts; pitangueira; Clúsia; and cashew).


Identify InDels and SNPs in candidate genes of native species associated with the drought response (wild peanuts; pitangueira; and cashew).


Validate in vitro the expression profile of candidate genes for drought tolerance obtained in native species of Brazil (peanuts wild; pitangueira; Clúsia; and cashew).


Sequencing using the Illumina platform a fraction of small RNAs, and their target mRNAs, and circular RNAs of plants (Arachis; Musa; soybean; pitangueira; cashew tree) submitted to biotic and / or abiotic stresses.


Analyze the sequencing data to check the methylation status of gene promoters in the metabolic pathways of interest.


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

AL1 AL3 AL4 AL5  AL11

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


Laboratory Description

Research efforts in our laboratory are focused on the prospecting and characterization of genes involved in the response of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. Emphasis: Soy (Glycine max), Jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis) and Solanum nigrum. Approaches: Analysis of gene expression; Gene silencing; Overexpression; Subcellular location of gene products. For genetic transformation, we mainly use particle bombardment, but we are gaining experience in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Embryogenic tissues are used as targets for transformation.​

Research lines

• Response of native Neotropical plants and cultivated plants to abiotic stresses: drought and salinity

• Identification of genes related to plant adaptation and tolerance to abiotic stresses

• Characterization of the interaction network between microRNAs - circRNAs and mRNAs in the regulation of gene expression.

• Study of the mechanisms and quantification of mRNA editing events in chloroplasts in response to stresses.​


The Biophysics Department and the UFRGS Biotechnology Center have a laboratory with infrastructure for analysis of gene expression, a Molecular Biology laboratory, a greenhouse and a bioinformatics laboratory. Main equipment available: real-time PCR devices, Step-One 96, ABI-7500 and CFX-384 BioRad, laminar flow cabinets, systems for DNA, RNA and protein electrophoresis, spectrophotometer, fluorimeter,, PCR thermocyclers, analytical and preparative centrifuge. In the Department of Genetics, the Laboratory of Plant Tissue Culture and Genetic Transformation is certified by CQB.​

Our Time

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Rogerio Margis


Rogerio Margis completed his doctorate at the Institut de Biologie Moleculaire des Plantes, IBMP of CNRS, at the Université Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg I, France, in 1993. In 2002 he did a post-doctorate related to the processes of RNA interference and production of microRNAs in plants in the CSIRO's Plant Industry in Canberra, Australia. He is currently a CNPq researcher and Full Professor in the Department of Biophysics and Biotechnology Center at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences since 2016. From 1994 to 2003 he was an adjunct professor at UFRJ. At UFRGS, he works as a permanent core researcher and advisor in the graduate programs in Genetics and Molecular Biology (PPGBM) and Cell and Molecular Biology (PPGBCM). Currently participates in research projects related to the themes: RNA interference processes, small RNAs and non-coding RNAs in rice, soybeans and native Neotropical species; action of cysteine ​​proteases and their inhibitors; proteins related to abiotic stresses (cold, drought and metals) and oxidative stress (APx and GPx). He works in the areas of Genetics and Biochemistry, with an emphasis on Molecular Biology: regulation of gene expression and molecular markers. In his professional activities, he interacted with more than a hundred national and international collaborators in projects and co-authorship of scientific works.


Márcia Pinheiro-Margis


Graduated in Biological Sciences at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (1983), Master's degree in Biochemistry from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1987) and doctorate in Biologie Moleculaire Des Plantes - Universite de Strasbourg I - France (1993). Full Professor at the Department of Genetics at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He is a Full Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Full member of the CNPq Genetics Advisory Committee (CA-GE) between July 2011 and June 2014. He was a member of the board of the Brazilian Society of Genetics (SBG), having been first treasurer, first secretary, vice president, and president (2016 to 2018). Member of CTNBio between March 2012 and February 2014. Coordinator of the Graduate Programs in Genetics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2000-2001) and the Federal University of Rio de Grande do Sul (2011 to 2015). Editor of the journal Genetics and Molecular Biology. President of the International Genetics Federation (since September 2018). He has experience in the field of Genetics, with an emphasis on Plant Genetics, working mainly on the following topics: defense responses of plants against abiotic stresses, antioxidant metabolism enzymes and functional plant genomics.

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Graduated in Biological Sciences from the Universidade Regional Integrada do Alto Uruguai e das Missões (2002), master's degree in Plant Physiology from the Federal University of Pelotas (2006) and doctorate in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2009). She did a Postdoctoral internship in the area of ​​Genetics and Molecular Evolution at PPGBM / UFRGS and is currently a professor linked to the Department of Genetics at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He has experience in molecular biology techniques such as real-time PCR, gene cloning, DNA sequencing and molecular markers, as well as in the use of bioinformatics tools. The main current lines of research are the study of adaptive evolution in populations of native plants in South America through the use of genomic approaches and molecular evolution of gene families. Mother of a daughter, she was on December 2015 maternity leave the highest in 2016.


  • Frank Lino Guzman Escudero - Lattes

  • João Abreu - Lattes

  • Nureyev Ferreira Rodrigues - Lattes


  • Erika Frydrych-Capelari  - Lattes

Master degree

• Natalia Balbinott - Lattes


  • Fábio Nogueira – IQ - UFRJ

  •  Gilberto Domond – IQ - UFRJ

  • Felipe dos Santos Maraschin – Dept. Botanica - UFRGS



Departamento de Biofísica – Sala 206 - LGPP
Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 4342212

Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
C.Postal 91.501-910

Fone +55 51 3008 6234


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