Lénia Isabel Alfaiate Rodrigues

Lénia Isabel Alfaiate Rodrigues

Plant Genetics and Biotechnology, Integrated in MED
Plant Genetics and Biotechnology
Integrated in MED


Graduated in Biology by the University of Évora (2006-2009) and Master in Biomedical Sciences (2009-2012) by the University of Algarve, whose thesis was entitled “Evaluation of changes in the protein profile of saliva of animal model of obesity”, I started my PhD in biochemistry (2013-2017), in University of Évora, with the thesis titled "Influence of salivary proteins on taste sensitivity". I was a fellow in the "Passport for Entrepreneurship" competition (2014-2015) with the project "Salivary test of taste sensitivity". In the following years, I was a fellow in different projects, namely “VALBIOTECCynara – Economic valuation of thistle (Cynara cardunculus): natural variant and its technological applications” and "CistusRumen-sustainable use of steers (Cistus ladanifer) in small ruminants - increased competitiveness and reduced environmental impact. In November 2018, I interrupted my scientific activity and accepted the challenge of being laboratory manager and quality assistant in the olive oil sector. In January 2020, I returned to research through a research fellowship within the scope of the LIVESEED European project, applying Calorespirometry and spectroscopy techniques (FT-NIR). It was also the objective of this study to investigate the link between seed germination and the alternative oxidase (AOX) respiratory pathway, by transcript quantification through RT-qPCR, and by analysis of AOX expression through Western blot. Since March 2020, I am also collaborating with COVID-19 Test Unit, performing RT-qPCR, at the University of Évora. Since April 2021, I have a higher technician contract with the University of Évora, in the Molecular Biology laboratory and plant breeding laboratory, where I develop research work related to the evaluation of differences at the transcriptome and proteome level of pea seeds during germination. I am also collaborating in other research lines running in the lab I am integrated, being responsible by the proteome analysis in plant morphogenic processes (adventitious rooting and somatic embryogenesis), and collaborating in the transcriptome and metabolome analysis.

Throughout my career, I am author in 9 articles and co-author in 3 articles in specialized magazines and 3 book chapters. I performed 9 oral communications, 16 posters presented at national and international meetings, 2 practice abstracts published on online and 1 proceedings. I have been involved in the organization of an scientific event in the proteomics research field. Currently, I am Guest Editor in the Special Issue "Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Plant Plasticity upon Environmental Stresses" in the open-access journal Plants.

Since January 2021, I have been integrated as team members in the project “Unraveling olive somatic embryogenesis signaling - a focus on the extracellular bioactive molecules”. In recent years I have also participated in scientific dissemination actions, such as European Researchers' Night and Ciência Viva no Laboratório.

In the last years, I had also the opportunity to supervised the research work of 1 ungraduated student of the degree in Biochemistry, co-supervised the research work of 9 ungraduated students of the degrees in Biology and Biotechnology and 1 Master thesis in Agronomy. 



Present Research
  • Somatic embryogenesis
  • Seed germination
  • Transcriptome analysis
  • Calorespirometry
  • Adventitious rooting
  • Vegetable proteomics
Research Interests
  • Seed germination
  • Vegetable proteomics
  • Transcriptome and metabolome analysis
  • Calorespirometry
  • Plant morphogenic processes
  • Proteome analysis

Personal Information

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Thematic lines to which I contribute:

Publications & Patents



Project Funding Lead Institution Role Start End Scope
O papel dos genes e das proteínas na resposta das plantas aos stresses ambientais CIÊNCIA VIVA - Ciência Viva no Laboratório - Criar futuro 2021 Universidade de Évora MED Representative 2021-07-26 2021-07-30 Nacional
O papel dos genes e das proteínas na resposta das plantas aos stresses ambientais CIÊNCIA VIVA - Ciência Viva no Laboratório - Criar Futuro 2022 Universidade de Évora MED Representative 2022-06-01 2022-09-30 Nacional