Programa de Agricultura en Zonas Áridas.

Arid Zones Agriculture:

Research lines


Strategic line I

Organic Agriculture

Responsible: Dr. Rogelio Ramírez Serrano

We are working on utilizing leachates in hydroponics to cultivate mint and rosemary, the use of vermicomposting and its effect on mint under conditions of water deficit in and outside of shade houses, and the effect of salinity on basil and oregano. At the same time, work is being done on isolating eighty strains of microbial communities in hypersaline marine environments and the characterization of growth-promotion activities via biochemical tests.

Strategic Line II

Plant Health and Food Safety

Responsible: Dr. Luis Guillermo Hernández Montiel

In this research line we're carrying out a project in collaboration with Japan to efficiently use soil, water, nutrients and energy to obtain healthy and safe products from hydroponic cultivation of leafy and other vegetables. The systems are protected through coupling with aquaculture wastewater, in agro-aquiculture systems adapted to arid regions of Mexico, in which distinct management strategies are used to fight infestation and infection, excluding insecticides or other products toxic to the health of producers and consumers.

Strategic Line III

Agrotechnology and Energy Resources

Responsible: Dr. Carlos Eliud Angulo Valadez

With participation in the aquaponics project combined with open-air cultivation regionally adapted for sustainable food production, we are developing experiments with diverse plant species to evaluate their capacity of absorbing sodium chloride from hydroponic cultivation media, utilizing low-quality (brackish) water.

For physiological and biochemical response of plants under saline stress we are working with saline stress in the cultivation of tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum, Mill), chilies (Capsicum annuum,L.) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L, Walp), respectively.

At the same time, we have run probiotic and immunostimulant tests on microalgae and marine yeasts in vitro and in vivo using mouse and fish models. The results indicate that there are some microorganisms which possess attributes exceeding the controls, which has permitted their selection for tests with a higher number of animals. We have extracted beta-glucans from fungi and marine yeasts for in-vitro evaluation using leukocytes from goats and fish. We have also prepared extracts from marine bacteria for antimicrobial tests against pathogens of veterinary importance and for immunostimulation tests in mice leukocytes.

Strategic Line IV

Water, Soil and Climate in Arid Zones

Responsible: Dr. David Raúl López Aguilar

Work continued on tasks of the project "Comprehensive Management Plan for the Watershed, Aquifer and Wetlands of San Jose del Cabo, B.C.S.", with indicators of hydro-environmental and socioeconomic sustainability. Following norms, the techniques and methods were detailed for the collection and analysis of cartographic and thematic information related to the current state, and current and historical water use, in the area influenced by the watershed and wetlands of San Jose del Cabo, BCS. The first feedback workshop was carried out with watershed users, applying logical framework methodology.

Strategic Line V

Biotechnology and Utilization of Genetic Resources

Responsible: Dra. Gracia Gómez Anduro

Evaluation of detection methodologies for genetically-modified elements in the field: Selection and validation of a sensitive, specific and low-cost technique. The CIBIOGEM-CONACyT project is in the final phase, having achieved the principal objective of implementing a tool for the detection of GMO's in the field without specialized equipment; proposed name: "the kit". The kit was validated with reference DNA from SENASICA and currently work is being done for intellectual property protection, to be transferred to GMO-monitoring personnel.

At the same time, we continue to work on the conservation, development and propagation of plant germplasm using biotechnological tools.