Merardo Pujol - Center for Genetic Engineering an d Biotechnology - Corporate Executive Officer

Merardo Pujol

Center for Genetic Engineering an d Biotechnology

Corporate Executive Officer

Havana | Cuba

Merardo Pujol - Center for Genetic Engineering an d Biotechnology - Corporate Executive Officer

Merardo Pujol

Introduction

Primary Affiliation: Center for Genetic Engineering an d Biotechnology - Havana , Cuba

Publications

33Publications

324Reads

248Profile Views

99PubMed Central Citations

Efficient particle bombardment-mediated transformation of Cuban soybean (INCASoy-36) using glyphosate as a selective agent

Soto, N., Delgado, C., Hernández, Y. et al. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult (2017) 128: 187

Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture

Soybean is highly affected by weeds in tropical countries, causing significant losses in yields. Transgenic herbicide resistant soybeans have been produced in a limited number of varieties and parental lines. This study was conducted to obtain glyphosate herbicide resistant transgenic soybean plants through particle bombardment of embryonic axes in a Cuban variety. Shoot regeneration in 25 mg/L of glyphosate occurred within a short period and plantlets developed roots in a medium without selection pressure, which favored the in vitro growth of plants at a transformation frequency of 3.1–6.0 %. Expression and integration of the cp4epsps gene was confirmed in the progeny by an immune-detection assay, PCR and Southern blot. All greenhouse evaluated transgenic soybean lines (T1) displayed tolerance to 1.25 Kg/ha of glyphosate. Growth and seed development of transformed plants was similar to untransformed plants. The regeneration procedure using embryonic axes combined with the efficient selection of shoots in glyphosate enabled the production of transgenic plants of this Cuban genotype, showing high tolerance to the herbicide, good efficiency and reproducibility.

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January 2017
3 Reads

Field Trial and Molecular Characterization of RNAi-Transgenic Tomato Plants That Exhibit Resistance to Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Geminivirus.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2016 Mar 11;29(3):197-209. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

2 University of Basel, Department of Environmental Sciences, Botany, Hebelstrasse 1, 4056 Basel, Switzerland;

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-08-15-0181-RDOI Listing
March 2016
7 Reads
1 Citation
3.944 Impact Factor

Tobacco seeds as efficient production platform for a biologically active anti-HBsAg monoclonal antibody.

Transgenic Res 2015 Oct 25;24(5):897-909. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Plant Biotechnology Department, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), PO Box 6162, 10600, Havana, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-015-9890-8DOI Listing
October 2015
11 Reads
1 Citation
2.322 Impact Factor

Glyphosate resistance trait into soybean Cuban varieties: agronomical assessment of transgenic lines until F6 generation

Int. J. Agri. & Agri. R. 2015 Oct 7](4):75-85

Int. J. Agri. & Agri. R.

Glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybean was one of the first major applications of genetic engineering in field crops and offered farmers a vital tool in fighting weeds. Weeds are a problem for soybean production in Cuba, so our work aim was the GTS 40-3-2 event introgression into Cuban varieties. Two local cultivars were crossed with transgenic genotypes that carry the event. From F1 to F3 generations, individual plants that produced more than 60 g of seeds per plant were chosen to obtain next generation. Individual lines were selected from F4 generation. F5 and F6 generations of five selected transgenic lines and their relatives were chosen to evaluate seven agronomic traits throughout the summers of 2012 and 2013. A Random Block experimental design was done. First flowering (R1) and maturity (R8) stages of all genotypes were affected by planting date. Plant height of I1B2- 3, I1B4, I36B4 and RP5 lines ranged from 80 to 111 cm. I1B2-2 and I1B2-3 lines would be suitable for mechanized harvesting because they had the insertion of the first pod at 14.63 cm and 13.93 cm respectively. I36B4 line produced the greatest number of pods per plant (127). Transgenic lines produced more than 180 seeds per plant and 100-seed weight ranged from 13.75 g to 17.46 g. Seed yield per plant of transgenic lines and their parents IncaSoy36, CEB2 and CEB4 weren’t statistically different. These results could be a start point for other studies involving larger areas, different planting dates and localities.

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October 2015
5 Reads

Brassinosteroids roles and applications: an up-date

Biologia, 2015 Jun 70(6): 726—732

Biologia

Brassinosteroids are plant steroidal compounds involved in many functions related with plant development, metabolism, signalling and defense against a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant architecture, which has a major effect on crop yield, is strongly influenced by brassinosteroids action. Brassinosteroids are recognized as key regulators of plant growth and development involved in a broad spectrum of processes at the molecular, cellular, and physiological levels. These roles suggest that many of the constraints of present agricultural production might be alleviated by manipulation of genetic determinants dealing with brassinosteroids, as well as by its exogenous application. Brassinosteroids are natural, nontoxic, non-genotoxic, biosafe, and eco-friendly, and can therefore be used in agriculture and horticulture to improve the growth, yields, quality, and tolerance of various plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. The present paper comprehensively reviews the latest results in the field of brassinosteroids and envisages future impacts in agriculture.

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June 2015
3 Reads

The inhibition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns confers high protection against fungi and oomycetes in plants

Biot. Aplic. 2014, 31(3):254-257

Biotecnología Aplicada

ABSTRACTCrops of agricultural interest are highly affected by fungi- and oomycetes-caused diseases in Cuba and worldwide. The search for alternatives for its control continues, as a major challenge with the use of biotechnological techniques. In nature, plants are exposed to biotic stress and develop resistance against pathogenic infection through the fast activation of the innate immune system. Such an effective resistance response requires the detection and fast inhibition of the evolutionary conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). These PAMPs comprise, among others, proteases and polygalacturonases, which mediate the initial pathogenicity mechanisms during infection that counteract the initial plant defensive responses. In this work, inhibitors of pathogen’s proteases and polygalacturonases were developed to generate plant resistance against a wide spectrum of fungi- and oomycetes-caused diseases. Tobacco plants expressing a polygalacturonase inhibitor conferred, for the first time, high levels of resistance against this type of pathogens under field conditions. Additionally, a novel protease inhibitor effective against pathogens’ proteases was identified and characterized, which also provided resistance against pathogenic oomycetes in plants. This research granted the 2013 Award of the Cuban National Academy of Sciences.

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August 2014
2 Reads

Realising the value of plant molecular pharming to benefit the poor in developing countries and emerging economies.

Plant Biotechnol J 2013 12 14;11(9):1029-33. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

The Hotung Molecular Immunology Unit, Division of Clinical Sciences, St. George's University of London, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12127DOI Listing
December 2013
8 Reads
7 Citations
5.752 Impact Factor

Kinetic of Expression of a Plantibody in (Nicotiana tabacum) Plants Cultivated in Different Substrates (Zeolite and Soil)

Journal of Agronomy, 2011 | Volume: 10, Issue: 1, Page No.: 20-26

Journal of Agronomy

Abstract: This study reviewed the biomass production and expression of a plantibody in Nicotiana tabacum plants cultivated in zeolite, zeolite+soil and soil under confined conditions with the hope that results in the zeolite variant can be comparable with results in soil (best case). Production of leaves (168.4-228.8 g plants-1) and stems (148.0-190.4 g plants-1) achieved the highest values at the 8th week of cultivation. Non-significant differences were detected among substrates for production of leaves (p = 0.0920); meanwhile production of stems showed statistical significances between zeolite (148.0 g plants-1) and the mixture of zeolite and soil (190.4 g plant-1, p = 0.0422). The highest plantibody concentration in leaves ranged 56.7-71.5 μg mL-1 showing significant differences between zeolite and soil (p = 0.0219). The expression pattern of the plantibody was similar in all substrates reaching maximum values of plantibody amount (mg m-2) at 8th week. The expression level of plantibody ranged 0.19±0.05 (soil)-0.13±0.02% (zeolite). The optimal moment for purifying plantibody was at the 7th week when zeolite was used as substrates. Results of purification experiments performed to corroborate that plantibody produced by plants cultivated in zeolite was functional allow confirming a value of plantibody recovery higher than 40%, high level of plantibody purity and non-statistical differences in the antibody affinity constant. As concise outline, results obtained from this study provide information to conclude that although zeolite experiment results were lower than those observed in the mixture of zeolite and soil and soil, zeolite can be used as substrate for cultivation of transgenic tobacco plants employed in plantibody large-scale production under assessed conditions.

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December 2011

Tobacco leaf spot and root rot caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn.

Mol Plant Pathol 2011 Apr 1;12(3):209-16. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 6162, Havana, 10600, Cuba Plant Health Institute, Playa, Havana 11600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1364-3703.2010.00664.xDOI Listing
April 2011
7 Reads
4 Citations

Over-expression of a protein kinase gene enhances the defense of tobacco against Rhizoctonia solani.

Gene 2010 Mar 11;452(2):54-62. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, PO Box 6162, Havana, 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2009.11.011DOI Listing
March 2010
5 Reads
6 Citations
2.140 Impact Factor

Tobacco blue mould disease caused by Peronospora hyoscyami f. sp. tabacina.

Mol Plant Pathol 2010 Jan;11(1):13-8

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, PO Box 6162, Havana, 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1364-3703.2009.00569.xDOI Listing
January 2010
15 Reads
1 Citation

Anti-carcinoembryonic antigen CIGB-M3 antibody fragment expressed in transiently transformed tobacco leaves

Minerva Biotecnologica 2009 December;21(4):197-200

Minerva Biotecnologica

There is a sustained interest in plant molecular farming as a system for producing valuable recombinant pharmaceutical molecules. Transient gene expression has become a very useful tool for rapid confirmation of the correct assembly of the molecule of interest and of its biological activity, before proceeding to the obtainment of stably transformed transgenic plants. CIGB-M3 is a multivalent-type single chain Fv (scFv) antibody fragment specific for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). In this scFv a short linker joins the antibody variable regions, leading to production of non-covalently assembled forms. To test whether the M3 can be expressed in transgenic tobacco plants, a fast Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation procedure based on leaf vacuum infiltration was used. It was demonstrated that CIGB-M3 can be expressed by plant cells and retain its antigen recognition properties.

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December 2009

Black shank resistant tobacco by silencing of glutathione S-transferase.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009 Sep 3;387(2):300-4. Epub 2009 Jul 3.

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Havana 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.07.003DOI Listing
September 2009
9 Reads
2 Citations
2.300 Impact Factor

Identification of defense-related genes in tobacco responding to black shank disease

Plant Science, Volume 177, Issue 3, September 2009, Pages 175-180

Plant Science

In order to identify tobacco (Nicotiana megalosiphon) genes involved in broad-spectrum resistance to tobacco black shank (Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae), suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to generate a cDNA from transcripts that are differentially expressed during an incompatible interaction. Forty-eight differentially expressed genes were selected, sequenced and analyzed. The cDNA collection comprised a repertoire of genes associated with various processes. Real-time PCR analysis of a subset of these genes confirmed the differential expression patterns between the compatible and incompatible interaction. The experiments demonstrated for the first time that hrs203J gene and RING finger protein gene exhibited strong induction during several incompatible interactions. Also, these genes were found not to be induced in compatible interactions. The set of differentially expressed tobacco genes associated to resistance could be exploited in strategies to develop durable resistance in cultivated tobacco plants.

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September 2009

Production of plantibodies in Nicotiana plants.

Methods Mol Biol 2009 ;483:103-34

Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-59745-407-0_7DOI Listing
February 2009
12 Reads

A transformation procedure for recalcitrant tomato by addressing transgenic plant-recovery limiting factors.

Biotechnol J 2008 Aug;3(8):1088-93

Plant Department, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biot.200700187DOI Listing
August 2008
9 Reads
3.710 Impact Factor

Fighting cancer with plant-expressed pharmaceuticals.

Trends Biotechnol 2007 Oct 14;25(10):455-9. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

Plant Division, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 6162, C.P. 10600, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2007.09.001DOI Listing
October 2007
4 Reads
3 Citations
11.960 Impact Factor

Double acylation for identification of amino-terminal peptides of proteins isolated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2007 ;21(14):2237-44

Department of Proteomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcm.3079DOI Listing
August 2007
14 Reads
1 Citation
2.253 Impact Factor

A new approach for in vitro regeneration of tomato plants devoid of exogenous plant growth hormones.

Biotechnol J 2006 Oct;1(10):1153-7

National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, San Joséde las Lajas, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biot.200500042DOI Listing
October 2006
5 Reads
3.710 Impact Factor

Intron-hairpin RNA derived from replication associated protein C1 gene confers immunity to tomato yellow leaf curl virus infection in transgenic tomato plants.

Transgenic Res 2006 Jun;15(3):291-304

Plant Virology Laboratory, Plant Department, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 6162, 10600, Havana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-005-5238-0DOI Listing
June 2006
5 Reads
7 Citations
2.322 Impact Factor

EIL2 transcription factor and glutathione synthetase are required for defense of tobacco against tobacco blue mold.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2006 Apr;19(4):399-406

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 6162, Havana, 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-19-0399DOI Listing
April 2006
32 Reads
3 Citations
3.944 Impact Factor

Identification of genes induced upon water-deficit stress in a drought-tolerant rice cultivar.

J Plant Physiol 2006 Mar 12;163(5):577-84. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Head of the Plant Functional Genomic Department, Plant Division, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (C.I.G.B.), P.O. Box 6162, La Habana 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2005.07.005DOI Listing
March 2006
4 Reads
6 Citations
2.560 Impact Factor

Identification of sugarcane genes induced in disease-resistant somaclones upon inoculation with Ustilago scitaminea or Bipolaris sacchari.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2005 Dec 29;43(12):1115-21. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P. O. Box 6162, Havana 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2005.07.011DOI Listing
December 2005
5 Reads
14 Citations
2.760 Impact Factor

Transient expression in tobacco leaves of an aglycosylated recombinant antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor.

Biotechnol Bioeng 2005 Jan;89(2):188-94

Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 6162, Havana 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.20333DOI Listing
January 2005
10 Reads
5 Citations
4.130 Impact Factor

Identification of the minimal sequence required for vascular-specific activity of Tomato mottle Taino virus Replication-associated protein promoter in transgenic plants.

Virus Res 2004 Jun;102(2):125-32

Departamento de Plantas, Centro de Ingeniería Genética y Biotecnología, P.O. Box 6162, La Habana, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2004.01.027DOI Listing
June 2004
4 Reads
1 Citation
2.324 Impact Factor

Development of a highly efficient system for assessing recombinant gene expression in plant cell suspensions via Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation.

Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2004 Jun;39(Pt 3):355-61

Plant Department, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Ave. 31 e/158 y 190, Cubanacán, Playa POB 6162, Havana 10600, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BA20030192DOI Listing
June 2004
25 Reads
1.362 Impact Factor

Large-scale purification of an antibody directed against hepatitis B surface antigen from transgenic tobacco plants.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2003 Aug;308(1):94-100

Plant Derived Antibody Production and Generation Group, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 6162, Havana 10600, Cuba.

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August 2003
17 Reads
6 Citations
2.300 Impact Factor

Proteolytic gut activities in the rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus brevirostris Suffrian (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol 2003 May;53(1):19-29

Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arch.10083DOI Listing
May 2003
5 Reads
2 Citations
1.021 Impact Factor