School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Agricultural Production Systems PhD Students

Gabriela Pingarron Cardenas
Gabriela Pingarron Cardenas: PhD student in Agricultural Production Systems

Project description

I am a PhD student in the Crop Protection group, led by Prof Robert Edwards. I am studying the differences between safening in dicot crops and metabolic resistance in dicot weeds.

Safeners are compounds that protect monocots from herbicide injury through increasing the response of the xenome genes which encode the enzymes involved in herbicide metabolism. A similar set of xenome genes are also up-regulated in non-target site herbicide resistance (NTSR) weeds.

It has been suggested that safening and NTSR are functionally orthologous. In contrast to cereals, safeners do not protect dicot crops from herbicide injury, even though they produce transcriptomal changes in the xenome genes.

The main aim of my project is to establish the differences between these two processes using a two-pronged approach:

  • a gain-of-function screen of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana
  • characterising the differences between safening and metabolic resistance in the dicot weed Amaranthus


  • Plant research
  • Movies, books, yoga and knitting


  • Degree in Biology: Autonoma de Madrid
  • Master’s degree in Biotechnology: Salford University