Physiological and genomic tools to improve postharvest quality of zucchini

ISHS Secretariat
Physiological and genomic tools to improve postharvest quality of zucchini

Raquel Jiménez Muñoz is a PhD student at the Department of Plant Physiology at University of Granada, Spain. She completed her B.S. in Biology from University of Granada in 2014, and attained her M.S. in Advances in Agricultural Biology and Aquaculture from the same university in 2015. During her Master studies, she worked in pest control in the olive grove. Later, she was awarded a PhD grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness to pursue her doctorate. She is currently studying in the group AGR209: “Postharvest physiology in fruits of agronomic interest”, led by Prof. Dra. Dolores Garrido. Her research project is focused on postharvest of Cucurbita pepo L. and is entitled “Development of physiological and genomic tools to improve postharvest quality of the fruit of zucchini”. The subtropical origin of zucchini makes the fruit very susceptible to developing “chilling injuries” (CI) when kept at low temperature during postharvest. These CI are metabolic and physiological alterations that cause huge economic losses. The project is divided into two areas: one consists of different treatments that could improve the postharvest quality of the fruit, and the other is the development of transformation techniques for the study of cold resistance candidate genes. In a previous project developed by this research group, a transcriptomic comparison of different zucchini cultivars with contrasting behavior against cold stress allowed the identification of several candidate genes that appear to be important for chilling resistance. Raquel is working on the implementation of an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and regeneration protocol to elucidate the role of these genes during cold stress.

Raquel Jiménez Muñoz won an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster at the VI International Symposium on Cucurbits in Belgium in July 2019.

Raquel Jiménez Muñoz, Department of Plant Physiology, University of Granada, Faculty of Sciences, 18071 Av. Fuente Nueva, Spain, e-mail:

The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae

Young Minds Award Winners