PI: Dr. Viviana Echenique
Principal Researcher, CONICET
Professor, Dept. of Agronomy, UNS


The main objective of our project is to carry out genomic studies in winter cereals, mainly in wheat. We are focused on the identification of either candidate genes or markers associated to  characters, such as grain yield, plant health and quality in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum). The association and biparental genetic mapping tools generate valuable information for national breeding programs. New Recombinant Inbred Lines (RILs) and biparental F2 populations have been developed in durum wheat to be used in quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping associated to yield, quality (protein and color) and diseases (rusts).

We are also conducting studies of genetic diversity in a durum wheat collection of 190 varieties from diverse geographical origins and also we are partners in an international initiative that is working in a durum wheat global panel of 1011 genotypes that was established through a cooperative effort within the framework of the Wheat Initiative. This project is lined up with the objectives of the G20 Wheat Initiative whose purpose is to join efforts in wheat breeding at a global level. Argentina subscribed to this initiative through the National Research Council (CONICET) and the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA).

The Laboratory GENETYC was created as an initiave of our research group and built through a grant from FONTAR - Argentina: PIT III Finset 2013 NA051/13. IR: Viviana Echenique: Laboratorio de Servicios para implementar la selección asistida a alto caudal en programas de mejoramiento de trigo y cebada de Argentina

Lines of Research

  • Genetic diversity in durum wheat
  • QTL mapping using biparental populations
  • Association mapping in wild and cultivated wheat
  • Germplasm developing for genomic studies
  • Allelic variation in genes for agronomic traits

Recent Publications

  • Roncallo, P., Beaufort, V., Larsen, A.O., Dreisigacker, S. & Echenique, V. (2019). Genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium using SNP (KASP) and AFLP markers in a worldwide durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) collection. PlosOne 14(6), 1-33.
  • Achilli, A.L., Roncallo, P.F., Larsen, A.O., González, L., Miranda, R., Dreisigacker, S. &  Echenique, V. (2018). Phenotypic and genotypic diversity in an Argentinian durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) panel. International Conference: From Seed To Pasta 3. Bologna, Italy, September 19-21.
  • Larsen, A.O., Roncallo, P.F., Astiz, V., Molfese, E., González, L., Miranda, R., Dreisigacker, S. & Echenique V. (2018). Association mapping for quality traits in a durum wheat collection. International Conference: From Seed To Pasta 3. Bologna, Italy,  September 19-21.
  • Palazzini, J., Roncallo, P.,  Cantoro, R., Chiotta, M., Yerkovich, N., Palacios, S., Echenique, V., Torres, A., Ramírez, M., Karlovsky, P. & Chulze, S. (2018). Biocontrol of Fusarium graminearum sensu stricto, reduction of deoxynivalenol accumulation and phytohormone induction by two selected antagonists. Toxins 10 (88), 1-12. DOI:10.3390/toxins10020088.
  • Roncallo, P.F., Akkiraju, P.C., Cervigni, G. & Echenique, V. (2017). QTL mapping and analysis of the epistatic interactions for grain yield and yield-related traits in Triticum turgidum L. var. durum. Euphytica 213 (277), 1-20. DOI 10.1007/s10681-017-2058-2
  • Roncallo, P.F., Beaufort, V., Larsen, A.O. & Echenique, V.C. (2015). Durum wheat genetic resources available at CERZOS, Bahía Blanca, Argentina. Meeting of the Wheat Initiative Expert Working Group on Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding. Hotel FlyOn, Bologna,  Italy, May 30.
  • Roncallo, P.F., Larsen, A.O., Zaffora, B., Monticelli, N.A., Diaz Godoy, P., Rochón, M., Cuestas, J.M., Gonzalez, L., Jensen, C., Campos, P., Miranda, R., Dreisigacker, S. &  Echenique, V.C. (2015). Allelic variation in major genes (Rht-B1Ppd-A1 and Vrn-A1) and its effect on plant height, peduncle length and flowering/heading date in a durum wheat collection under field conditions. From Seed to Pasta & Beyond: A sustainable durum wheat chain for food security and healthy lives, Bologna, Italy, May 31-June 3.
  • Helguera, M., Rivarola, M., Clavijo, B., Martise, M.M., Vanzetti, L.S., González, S., Garbus, I., Leroy, P., Simkovái, H., Valáriki, M., Caccamo, M., Doleˇzel, J., Mayere, K.F.X., Feuillet, C., Tranquilli, G., Paniego, N. & Echenique, V.  (2015). New insights into the wheat chromosome 4D structure and virtual gene order, revealed by survey pyrosequencing. Plant Science 233, 200-212. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2014.12.004 
  • Garbus, I., Romero, J.R., Valarik, M., Vanžurová, H., Karafiátová, M., Cáccamo, M., Doležel, J., Tranquilli, G., Helguera, M. & Echenique, V.  (2015). Characterization of repetitive DNA landscape in wheat homeologous group 4 chromosomes. BMC Genomics 16(375), 1-16.

National and International Collaborations

  • Dr. Luigi Cattivelli, CREA, Fiorenzuola D´Arda, Italy
  • Dr. Rafaella Bataglia, CREA, Fiorenzuola D´Arda, Italy
  • Dr. Elisabetta Mazucotelli, CREA, Fiorenzuola D´Arda, Italy
  • Dr. Susanne Dreisigacker, CIMMYT, México
  • Dr. Carolina Saint Pierre, CIMMYT, México
  • Dr. Carlos Guzman, Universidad de Cordoba, España
  • Dr. Mario Cáccamo NIAB Cambridge, UK
  • Dr. Filippo Bassi, ICARDA, Lebanon/Morocco
  • Dr. Iván Matus, INIA, Chile
  • Dr. Marcelo Helguera. INTA EEA Marcos Juárez, Marcos Juárez, Córdoba, Argentina
  • Dr. Gabriela Tranquilli, Instituto de Recursos Biológicos, INTA Castelar, Argentina
  • Dr. Adelina Larsen, Mejoramiento de trigo candeal, CEI INTA Barrow, Argentina
  • MSc. Elena Molfese, Laboratorio de Calidad Industrial de Granos, CEI INTA Barrow, Argentina
  • Agricultural Eng. Valentina Astiz, Laboratorio de Calidad Industrial de Granos, CEI INTA Barrow, Argentina
  • MSc Pablo Campos, Fitopatología, INTA Bordenave, Argentina
  • Dr. Sofia Chulze, IMICO UNRC - CONICET, Argentina
  • Dr. Juan Palazzini, IMICO UNRC-CONICET, Argentina
  • Agricultural Engineers Leandro Ortis and Mariano Becker, Dr. Mauro Meier, ACA Semillas, Argentina
  • Agricultural Eng. Lisardo González, Diana Martino, Buck Semillas, Argentina

International network engagement

  • International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium
  • Wheat Initiative
  • Expert Working Group in Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding


  • PGI-TIR–SECyT (UNS). Análisis de la estructura de genoma de trigo candeal para su utilización en programas nacionales de mejoramiento, 2012.
  • EU-funded International Cooperation Project. Horizon 2020 -MSCA-RISE-2015. “Exploring the molecular control of seed yield in crops (EXPOSEED)”.PI: Raffaella Battaglia, CREA ES Fiorenzuola D´Arda. Participating nodes: Italy (CREA, UNIMIL), Spain (SCIC), Germany (KWS Lochow GMBH), The Netherlands (Keygene NV), Australia (University of Adelaide), México (CINVESTAV), Argentina (CERZOS), 2015-2019.
  • PICT RAICES 2015–1401 “Análisis de la estructura del genoma y mapeo por asociación para caracteres de calidad y rendimiento en trigo candeal” PI: Viviana Echenique, 2016-2019.
  • Program of Cooperativism and Social Economy at the University. Project No. 993: “Desarrollo y transferencia de marcadores moleculares para su aplicación en el Programa de mejoramiento de trigo candeal de la ACA”. PI: Viviana Echenique, 2016-2018.
  • Projects U.E. Agricultural Scs. and engineerings and materials. Bioconversión y valorización de residuos agroindustriales del sudoeste bonaerense. PI. Viviana Echenique. PT: Dr. Marisa Gómez, 2016-2020.

PhD thesis approved in the last  years

  • Lic. Emily Yineth Camargo Acosta. Ph. in Biology. Thesis topic: Asociación de marcadores AFLPs y caracteres de calidad y rendimiento en trigo candeal, Triticum turgidum L. var. Durum, April 2018. 
  • Agricultural Eng. Adelina Olga Larsen. Ph.D. in Agronomy. Thesis topic: Identificación de regiones genómicas asociadas a contenido de proteína y fuerza de gluten utilizando mapeo por asociación en trigo candeal, July 2018.
  • Agricultural Eng. Marta Miravalles. Ph.D. in Agronomy. Thesis topic: El ambiente y sus interacciones sobre la calidad industrial del trigo para fideos en el sur bonaerense. Director: V. Echenique, December 2017. 

Group Members

Dr. Pablo Roncallo,
Assistant Researcher, CONICET
Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Agronomy, UNS

Dr. Pablo Roncallo

Agricultural Eng. Ana Alachilli
Doctoral Fellow, CONICET

Ing. Agr. Ana Alachilli