Clara Torres Barcelo

Clara 2015-webPostdoc with Michael Hochberg

Clara.Torres (at)

Research interests:

I study experimental evolution in microbes and I am interested in understanding compensatory evolution, mutation rate, antibiotic resistance and host-parasite dynamics.

My current projects aim to assess the combined effect of phages and antibiotics for bacterial density control and the evolution of resistance. I use the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and a panel of antibiotics and infective phages as the experimental system.

Previous research:

I did my PhD in València (Spain) in the group of Santiago F. Elena at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Plant Biology (Polytechnic University of València-Spanish Research Council), using plant viruses as a model to address evolutionary questions. I studied molecular compensatory evolution of the plant virus TEV (Tobacco etch virus).

From the end of 2010 till 2013 I was a postdoctoral fellow with Angus Buckling and Craig MacLean at the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford (UK). I studied the evolutionary aspects of stress responses in the bacterium P. aeruginosa in the presence of antibiotics.


  • Torres-Barceló C., Franzon B., Vasse M. and Hochberg M.E. (2016) “Long-term effects of single and combined introductions of antibiotics and bacteriophages on populations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa”. Evolutionary Applications
    doi: 10.1111/eva.12364.
  • Torres-Barceló C. and Hochberg M.E. (2016) « Evolutionary Rationale for Phages as Complements of Antibiotics ». Trends in Microbiology. Jan 16. pii: S0966-842X(15)00302-9.
  • Vasse M., Torres-Barceló C. and Hochberg M.E. (2015) “Phage selection for bacterial cheats leads to population decline”.  Proceedings B 282(1818):20152207.
  • Torres-Barceló C., Kojadinovic M., Moxon R.E., MacLean R.C. (2015) « The SOS response increases bacterial fitness, but not evolvability, under a sub-lethal dose of ciprofloxacin ». Proceedings B 282(1816):20150885.
  • Torres-Barceló C., Arias-Sánchez F.I., Vasse M., Ramsayer J., Kaltz O. and Hochberg M.E. (2014) “A window of opportunity to control the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa combining antibiotics and phages”. PLOS ONE Sep 26;9(9):e106628.
  • MacLean RC, Torres-Barceló C., Moxon R.E. (2013) “Evaluating evolutionary models of stress-induced mutagenesis in bacteria” Nature Reviews Genetics 14, 221-227. F1000 Prime recommendation.
  • Torres-Barceló, C., Gabot G., Oliver A., Buckling A., MacLean R.C. (2013) “A trade-off between oxidative stress resistance and DNA repair plays a role in the evolution of elevated mutation rates in Pseudomonas aeruginosa” Proccedings of the Royal Society B 280(1757):20130007.
  • Torres-Barceló, C., Daròs, J.A. and Elena, S.F. (2010). « Compensatory molecular evolution of HC-Pro, and RNA-silencing suppressor from a plant RNA virus ». Molecular Biology and Evolution 27: 543-551.
  • Torres-Barceló, C., Daròs, J.A. and Elena, S.F. (2009). « HC-Pro hypo- and hypersuppressor mutants: differences in viral siRNA accumulation in vivo and siRNA binding activity in vitro ». Archives of Virology 155: 251-254.
  • Torres-Barceló, C., Martín, S., Daròs, J.A. and Elena, S.F. (2008) “From hypo- to hyper-suppression: Effect of amino acid substitutions on the RNA silencing suppressor activity of Tobacco etch virus HC-Pro”. Genetics 180: 1039-1049.
  • Elena, S.F., Agudelo-Romero, P., Carrasco, P., Codoñer, F.M., Martín, S., Torres-Barceló, C. and Sanjuán, R. (2008) “Experimental evolution of plant RNA viruses”. Heredity 100: 478-483.
  • García A., López-Andújar P., Rodríguez J., Montava R., Torres-Barceló C. and  Buesa J. (2004) “Nasal immunization of mice with a rotavirus DNA vaccine that induces protective intestinal IgA antibodies”. Vaccine 23(4): 489-98.