Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Wales/IBERS, Aberystwyth, Wales/UK
B.A. in Agronomic Engineering, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Brazil
IGER (Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research), Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK
CNPq Graduate Research Fellow
IGER/GCI Post Doctoral Research Associate
Feruloylation, lignification and degradability of grass cell walls
Grass cell walls are characterized by a large quantity of esterified ferulates. Feruloylation of AX is important because it directly cross-links xylans and because ferulate esters become incorporated into lignin generating a ferulate-polysaccharide-lignin complex. The accumulation of cell wall ferulates, the cross-linking of xylan appears to play a role in different plant processes.
Buanafina lab is interested in understanding the role of feruloylation in grass cell walls, identifying gene(s) involved, understanding lignin deposition and arabinoxylans biosynthesis. It is also part of our research to study the expression of fungal cell wall degrading enzymes in planta in order to test if their expression can assist the digestion of polysaccharides and improve the nutritional properties of grass as a ruminant feed or as a bioenergy crop. We make use of forward and reverse genetic approaches, spectrophotometric, chromatography and microscopy techniques, chemical mutagenesis and genetic transformation.