Carla Sofia Santos, a researcher at the Catholic Faculty of Biotechnology in Porto, received the 2018 Accésit Prize of the XX Fertiberia Awards, a contest promoted by the Fertiberia fertilizers production group, which awards the best PhD Thesis in the Iberian Peninsula in the area of agriculture and fertilization. Carla Sofia Santos is part of the research group of Marta Vasconcelos.
Carla Sofia Santos explains that in this thesis "the molecular, physiological and biochemical mechanisms associated with iron uptake and transport in iron deficient plants were studied in order to identify and develop markers with potential to be used in biofortification strategies of plants for increase its iron content”, adding that we studied "a class of iron chelates never tested in the agronomic context and it was found that these new compounds were more effective and less toxic to the environment compared to the commercial alternative, having a great potential in the correction of iron chlorosis". It should be noted that "iron deficiency is very frequent at the agronomic level and is mainly induced in alkaline soils and with high amounts of active limestone, propitious to the insolubilization of the available iron", in this sense "iron is an indispensable element in the formation of chlorophyll of plants and their deficiency seriously undermines the development of the plant and, consequently, the final production, both qualitatively and quantitatively. "
The event took place on 18 December 2018 in Madrid (Spain), in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, in the presence of the Secretary General of Agriculture, Fernando Miranda, and the president of the Fertiberia Group, Javier Goñi del Cacho. The prize had a monetary value of € 6,000.