Prof. Dr. Juan Barceló

Plant Physiology Unity, Autonomous University of Barcelona, UAB


The University of Barcelona (UAB) is a public University located close to Barcelona city. It consists of eleven faculties and two university schools which award a total of sixty-one qualifications and a total of seventy doctoral programs and other postgraduate programs. UAB gather almost 40,000 students and more than 2,000 professors.

European research contracts are managed by the Research and Technology Transfer Office, that depends on the Vice-rectorat for Research. This Office has a large experience in managing projects – about 9,000 R+D contracts since its creation, in 1986.

Juan Barceló is Professor in Plant Physiology and head of the Plant Physiology Unity in the Science Faculty. His team is composed by 4 staff members, Prof. Dr. J. Barceló, Dra. Ch. Poschenrieder, Dr. J.A. Creus, Dr. B. Gunsé, 5 contracted scientists, Dra. M. Llugany, Dra. I. Corrales, Dra. R.P. Tolrà, X. Feixa and T. Garzón, 1 contracted technitian, R. Padilla, and a variable number (3 to 5) pre-and postdoctoral fellows. The team is highly specialized, along 20 years, in the study of stress physiology in plants. Special emphasis has been paid to ion toxicity stress and tolerance. For several years, aluminium toxicity and tolerance mechanisms are being investigated. During the last years the group has participated in numerous National research projects, as well as in two previous EC projects on this topic.

Available techniques in the Plant Physiology Lab of the UAB related to the present project are hydroponic cultivation of plants, analysis of organic acids and stress related metabolites (e.g. polyamines, aminoacids, proteins and peptides, plant hormones) by means of chromatographic techniques (GC-MS, HPLC) or electrophoresis, analysis of mineral nutrients, localization of toxicants at the cellular and subcellular level (microscopy: optical, TEM, SEM, X-ray microanalysis, single cell pressure probes).

Prof. Dr. Barceló‘s experience in the field of stress physiology in plants is internationally recognized. He is appointed to the editorial board of the journal “Environmental and Experimental Botany“ (Elsevier) and he is required as referee for papers on ion toxicity stress in plants by numberous scientific journals (Physiologia Plantarum, Australian J Plant Physiology, New Phytologist, Plant Cell Environment, etc.). He has been invited by research institutions abroad and by organizers of International Congresses to lecture on ion toxicity stress, including Al toxicity, in plants. Without doubt, however, the best accreditation of his experience and scientific quality of his team are the more than 100 scientific papers published in this experimental area, mainly in pier reviewed, prestigious, international journals.


Llugany M, Poschenrieder Ch, Barceló J (1996) Monitoring of aluminium-induced inhibition of root elongation in four maize cultivars differing in tolerance to aluminium and proton toxicity. Physiol. Plantarum 93:265-279

Corrales I, Poschenrieder Ch, Barceló J (1997) Influence of silicon pretreatment on aluminium toxicity in maize roots. Plant and Soil 190: 203-209

Gunsť B, poschenrieder Ch, Barceló J (1997) Water transport properties of roots and root cortical cells in proton and Al-stressed maize varieties. Plant Physiol 113: 595-602

Montero E, Cabot C, Poschenrieder Ch, Barceló J (1998) Relative importance of osmotic and ion specific effects on ABA mediated inhibition of leaf expansion growth in Phaseolus vulgaris. Plant Cell Environment 21: 54-62

Vázquez MD, Poschenrieder Ch, Corrales I, Barceló J (1999) Change in apoplastic aluminium during the initial growth response to aluminium by roots of a tolerant maize variety. Plant Physiology 119: 435-444