Mario Alberto Serrano Ortega

Functional Genomics of Eukaryotes Researcher

Associate Professor

Academic history

Mario Serrano studied agronomic engineer at the “Antonio Narro” Agrarian Autonomous University, Mexico. His diploma thesis was entitled “Effect of thermotherapy, explants origin and plant growth regulators, in meristems tissue culture of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) var. Alpha “. He did his Master and Doctoral studies at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, Campus Irapuato (CINVESTAV-Irapuato). His Master thesis was entitled “Analysis of expression pattern modification of ATL2: an early response gene in Arabidopsis thaliana with a RING-H2 domain” and his Doctoral thesis was entitled “Study of putative ubiquitin-ligases multigenic family proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana”, both thesis were developed under the supervision of Plinio Guzmán. He received his Doctoral title from CINVESTAV-Irapuato in 2004. From 2004 to 2008 he received a postdoctoral fellow from the Max-Planck Society, to work at the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany, in the Group of Paul Schulze-Lefert. During this time, he developed chemical genetics screens to characterize the plant innate immune responses. Afterwards, from 2008 until 2014, he holds a Junior group leader position at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland in the Group of Jean-Pierre Métraux. Here he characterized, using biochemical and genetic tools, the plant defense mechanisms against the necrotroph fungi Botrytis Cinerea. From 2015 he holds the position of Associate Professor (Investigador Titular A) at the Center for Genomic Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Campus Morelos, Mexico.
The focus of his work is the characterization of the plant innate immunity to the necrotroph fungus Botrytis Cinerea, commonly known as grey mold, that has been classified as the second most important plant pathogen. The early events that take place during B. Cinerea infection, in particular the communication between the plant and the pathogen at the cuticle are not completely elucidated. Remarkably, several reports have shown that Arabidopsis thaliana and Solanum lycopersicum mutants affected in the synthesis of the cuticle have a common “syndrome” related with the plant-microbe interaction, including increased cuticle permeability, ROS production and resistance to B. Cinerea. With this in mind, the project is based on the identification and characterization of the molecular elements that link the degradation of the cuticle and the induction of the plant innate immunity. To achieve this objective, he use the plant-pathogen system Arabidopsis thaliana-Botrytis Cinerea and the traditional genomic and chemical genetic methods.
He is Review Editor of Frontiers in Plant Science and Frontiers in Microbiology.


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2018Blanc, Catherine, Coluccia, Fania, L'Haridon, Floriane, Torres, Martha, Ortiz-Berrocal, Marlene, Stahl, Elia, Reymond, Philippe, Schreiber, Lukas, Nawrath, Christiane, Metraux, Jean-Pierre, Serrano, Mario (2018) The Cuticle Mutant eca2 Modifies Plant Defense Responses to Biotrophic and Necrotrophic Pathogens and Herbivory Insects Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 31(3):344-355 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-07-17-0181-R]29130376
2016Gkizi, Danai, Lehmann, Silke, L'Haridon, Floriane, Serrano, Mario, Paplomatas, Epaminondas J., Metraux, Jean-Pierre, Tjamos, Sotirios E. (2016) The Innate Immune Signaling System as a Regulator of Disease Resistance and Induced Systemic Resistance Activity Against Verticillium dahliae Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 29(4):313-323 [doi:10.1094/MPM1-11-15-0261-R]26780421
2015Hael-Conrad, V., Abou-Mansour, E., Diaz-Ricci, J. -C., Metraux, J. -P., Serrano, M. (2015) The novel elicitor AsES triggers a defense response against Botrytis Cinerea in Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Science 241():120-127 [doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2015.09.025]26706064
2017Aragon, Wendy, Juan Reina-Pinto, Jose, Serrano, Mario (2017) The intimate talk between plants and microorganisms at the leaf surface Journal Of Experimental Botany 68(19, SI):5339-5350 [doi:10.1093/jxb/erx327]29136456