Pathy Fernandez Moreno

B.S. Biology, La Laguna University (Spain).

M.S. Crop Breeding, Valencian Polytechnic University (UPV) – Center for Conservation & Improvement of Valencian Agrodiversity (COMAV) (Spain).

International Ph.D. Biotechnology, Institute for the Plant Molecular & Cell Biology (IBMCP), a mixed center for Valencian Polytechnic University (UPV) and Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) (Spain), & Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) (Israel).

Postdoc Plant Synthetic Biology, NC State University (2016-2020).

Co-teacher of the first SynBio course (BIT 495/595), Biotechnology Institute, NC State University (2020).

Pathy Fernandez Moreno is a multidisciplinary scientist in the field of Plant Sciences. She worked with tissue culture on the medicinal plant Borago officinalis and with allelopathic antioxidant compounds in Ruta graveolens and onion landraces for two years at the end of her BS. During her MS, she studied the molecular mechanisms involved in the pink tomato varieties using UPLC-ESI-qTOF-MS and Fruit-VIGS gene silencing (Solanum lycopersicum cv MoneyMaker purple tomatoes) methodologies. These studies were completed during her PhD using gamma-radiation pink-fruited tomato mutants (S. lycopersicum cv MicroTom) and implemented by studying the expression levels of the genes involved in the pink phenotype by using RNAseq approaches. As a result, SlMYB12 transcription factor was confirmed as the key regulator of the flavonols biosynthetic pathway in tomato. She obtained the international mention to her PhD for completed it in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Sciences (Israel). There, in addition to the MYB12-related experiments, she was trained in the study of cuticular lipids in tomato fruit epidermis using GC- DSQ2 MS approaches. She studied cuticular waxes (very-long-chain fatty acids, phenylpropanoids and terpenoids) and cutin monomers in the tomato introgression line population (Solanum pennellii x S. lycopersicum cv M82). These studies were complemented with QTL genomic analyses and, as a result, it was published the first QTL analysis on cuticular lipids for the tomato ILs population. Furthermore, Pathy described a new cuticular wax analysis pipeline to study those compounds in different crop species such as apple fruits (Malus domestica cv Golden Delicious and Granny Smith), wheat leaves (Triticum aestivum cv Bethlehem), tomato leaves (S. lycopersicum cv M82 backcross Introgression lines population, BILs) and hybrid aspen leaves (Populus tremula x P. tremuloides), providing the first comprehensive wax composition for apple, wheat leaves and hybrid aspen. During her first postdoc, Pathy switch gears and moved to the synthetic biology field. She used the multiplexing technology GoldenBraid developed by her former PhD PI and co-PIs to build the hormometer, a genetic toolbox made of 130 phytobricks that allows holistic studies for hormone crosstalk in plants. From this work, the first triple-hormone reporter (auxin-cytokinin-ethylene) was built. Furthermore, the first highly sensitive fluorescent ethylene reporter was also generated. This reporter represents the new generation of ethylene reporters that came to take over the only reporter used in the field generated 20 years ago. In her new postdoc at Baars lab, Pathy is coming back to the omics world to study the chemical fingerprint from root exudates that enable the plant-microbiome interaction and its relationship with iron deficiency and induced systemic responses, and to investigate its molecular mechanisms.