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Benedito, Vagner

Professor of Biochemical Genetics and Plant Physiology

Vagner Benedito obtained his Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from Wageningen University (The Netherlands) in 2004. He also has a Masters in Horticulture from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and an Agronomy degree from the Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil). Prof. Benedito researches how genes contribute to develop traits of agronomical importance by using biological models. He runs the Laboratory of Plant Functional Genetics, and works to discover and characterize genes involved in symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the model legume, Medicago truncatula, a close relative to alfalfa. He also uses the dwarf tomato cultivar ‘Micro-Tom’ to understand acquisition of competence during in vitro organogenesis of plants, and the metabolism of anthocyanin in different tissues of the tomato fruit. By identifying and characterizing the molecular functions of the genes involved in these processes, his group aims ultimately to contribute with tools to facilitate the development of crops with improved traits, including efficient nitrogen metabolism, fruit and vegetables with improved nutritional value (biofortification) and better protocols to regenerate and propagate plants in vitro.


  1. Kryvoruchko IS, Sinharoy S, Torres-Jerez I, Sosso D, Pislariu CI, Guan D, Murray JD, Benedito VA, Frommer WB, Udvardi MK (2016) MtSWEET11, a nodule-specific sucrose transporter of Medicago truncatula root nodules. Plant Physiology 171:554-565
  2. Breuillin-Sessoms F, Floss DS, Gomez SK, Pumplin N, Ding Y, Levesque-Tremblay V, Noar RD, Daniels DA, Bravo A, Eaglesham JB, Benedito VA, Udvardi MK, Harrison MJ (2015) Suppression of arbuscule degeneration in Medicago truncatula phosphate transporter4 mutants is dependent on the Ammonium Transporter 2 family protein AMT2;3. Plant Cell 27:1352-1366
  3. Maditz KH, Benedito VA, Oldaker C, Nanda N, Lateef SS, Livengood R, Tou JC (2015) Feeding soy protein isolate and n-3 PUFA affects polycystic liver disease progression in a PCK rat model of autosomal polycystic kidney disease. Nutrition Research 34:526-534
  4. Morton JB, Benedito VA, Panaccione DG, Jenks MA (2014) Potential for industrial application of microbes in symbioses that influence plant productivity and sustainability in agricultural, natural, or restored ecosystems. Industrial Biotechnology 10:347-353
  5. Sestari I, Zsögön A, Rehder GG, Teixeira LL, Hassimotto NMA, Purgatto E, Benedito VA, Peres LEP (2014) Near-isogenic lines enhancing ascorbic acid, anthocyanin and carotenoid content in tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Micro-Tom) as a tool to produce nutrient-rich fruits. Scientia Horticulturae 175:111-120
  6. Benedito VA, Modolo LV (2014) Introduction to metabolic genetic engineering for the production of valuable secondary metabolites in in vivo and in vitro plant systems. Recent Patents on Biotechnology 8:61-75
  7. Sinharoy S, Torres-Jerez I, Kereszt A, Pislariu CI, Nakashima J, Benedito VA, Kondorosi E, Udvardi MK (2013) The C2H2 transcription factor REGULATOR OF SYMBIOSE DIFFERENTIATION represses transcription of the secretory pathway gene MtVAMP721a and promotes symbiosome development in Medicago truncatula. Plant Cell 25: 3584-3601