Pedro Humberto Castro: Plant Physiology First Author

Pedro Humberto Castro, first author of “SUMO E3 Ligase SIZ1 connects sumoylation and reactive oxygen species homeostasis processes in Arabidopsis

Current Position: Researcher at the PlantBio group, BIOPOLIS-CIBIO/InBIO, University of Porto, Portugal.

Education: Ph.D. in Biology, University of Minho (Portugal) and University of Málaga (Spain); BSc in Applied Biology, University of Minho (Portugal).

Non-scientific interests: Music, reading, sports.

Brief Bio: After finishing my BSc degree in Applied Biology and specializing in Plant Molecular Physiology, I started my PhD trying to understand how the SUMO peptide works as a protein activity switcher and as a master transcriptional regulator in Arabidopsis. With this, I have been emphasizing the SUMO system as a powerful molecular mechanism to regulate nutrient homeostasis and to enhance crop resilience to climate change.

Afterwards, I moved to the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Univ. Copenhagen, where I was involved in breakthrough discoveries that unravelled how plants perceive the micronutrient zinc in a very conserved and specialized mechanism. From a translational perspective, part of the knowledge is now being applied to the study of how tomato regulates zinc homeostasis and towards fruit biofortification. Presently, I am a researcher at BIOPOLIS-CIBIO, Univ. Porto (Portugal), where I study plant biofortification mechanisms and genetic strategies to counteract environmental stress conditions. Also, in collaboration with the Portuguese National Germplasm Bank (BPGV-INIAV), I have been exploring the tomato collection, highlighting the potential of the conserved genetic resources as solutions for modern problems associated with food security and nutritional value.