Luis Herrera-Estrella

Texas Tech University

Primary Section: 62, Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Secondary Section: 25, Plant Biology
Membership Type:
International Member (elected 2003)


Professor at CINVESTAV in Mexico. He was born in Mexico City and received his MSc. from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico City and his PhD from the State University in Ghent, Belgium. He has made important contributions to the field of plant molecular biology, especially in the study of gene regulation and in the development of gene transfer methods. While still working as a Ph. D. student he published the first report showing the successful transfer and expression of a bacterial gene in plant cells. He pioneered the development of dominant selectable markers and the use of reporter genes for plant systems, which became two of the most important tools in the study of Plant Biology. More recently, he developed a system for selective fertilization of crops that allows a reduction in the use of fertilizers and herbicides to achieve high crop yield. Dr. Herrera-Estrella has graduated 43 PhD and 15 MSc students and was the founder of the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (Langebio) in Irapuato, Mexico, and the Institute for genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance (IGCAST) at Texas Tech University in the US.

Research Interests

Dr. Herrera Estrella currently investigates the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms by which plant perceive nutrient availability and its impact on plant development. He is also investigating the regulatory netwroks controlling desiccation tolerance in plant reproductive and vegetative tissues. His reserach group also applies the knowledge generated by his basic reserach and metaboplic engineering strategies for the design of plant varieties more tolerant to adverse environmental factors.

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