Francisco Pérez-Alfocea

Research Professor and head of the group of Plant Hormones at the Department of Plant Nutrition of CEBAS-CSIC, Murcia, Spain. A main research objective is the prospection, identification and use of the genetic variability of Solanum sp for developing new rootstocks for improving (i) yield stability under abiotic stresses like salinity, drought and nutrient deficiencies; and (ii) crop sustainability through improving resource (water and fertilizers) use efficiency. The basic research focuses on understanding the local (root system architecture) and systemic (root-to-shoot hormonal communication) mechanisms provided by the rootstocks to overcome abiotic stress conditions. More recently, his group is working with insect pollinators as natural ‘phenotypers’ of plant fitness under environmental pressure for assisting breeding decisions. Former chair of the ISHS Working Group on Vegetable Grafting, and former vice-chair of the ISHS Division on Vegetables, Roots and Tubers. Coordinator of the FP7-KBBE-2011-5 project ROOTOPOWER: ‘Empowering root-targeted strategies to minimize abiotic stress impacts on horticultural crops’ (#289365), and of the HORIZON EUROPE-EIC-2022-PATHFINDEROPEN project DARkWIN ( ‘Pollinator-assisted plant natural selection and breeding under climate change pressure’ (#101098680).