Alfredo Herrera-Estrella

Alfredo Herrera-Estrella

Prof. Alfredo Herrera-Estrella grew up in Mexico City and graduated from the National School of Biological Sciences in 1985. He did his graduate research (1986-1990) with Prof. Marc Van Montagu at the State University of Ghent, Belgium, studying the T-DNA transfer process from Agrobacterium tumefaciens to plants. He described for the first time Agrobacterium virulence proteins capable of carrying the T-DNA into the plant cell nucleus, and began to study the mycoparasitic process of the biocontrol agent Trichoderma atroviride. Dr. Herrera-Estrella pioneered the development of molecular tools for the study of a biocontrol agent with the establishment of transformation systems, and cloning of the first mycoparasitism related genes. Such developments opened possibilities for strain improvement. He continued those studies while at the Genetic Engineering Department of the Irapuato Unit of Cinvestav (1991-2004), and began studies towards the elucidation of the mechanisms involved in light perception in Trichoderma. In 2000, he was awarded the prize of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. By 2004, he got involved in the establishment of the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity. Since then he and his group have been involved in Functional Genomics Projects, including the elucidation of the complete maize genome, and the development of advanced techniques to study gene expression by deep sequencing. Dr. Herrera-Estrella has continuing efforts in the elucidation of signaling cascades triggering asexual development in fungi. In particular his group has been using functional genomics approaches for this purpose, and recently has been involved in the study of the role of reactive oxygen species as signal molecules in injury responses in fungi.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity, Mexico