Group Leader: Paola Mariani Ph.D.
Chiara Gorni Ph.D., Food Quality and Safety
Andrea Lauri Ph.D., Diagnostics Development
Laura Sironi, Avian Genomics
Stefania Violini Ph.D., Cell Biology
Paola Ramelli, Graduated Technician
Functional Genomics section produces and uses genomics data, mainly focused on molecular tracing of food for the human obtained from animal products, pre-implantation embryo diagnostics, biological contaminants diagnostics and resistance/suskeptibility to pathogns. Cell Biology Lab of the section isolates and characterizes stem cells as model system for the study of bacterial and viral infections.
Description of Activities
Precise information on the origin of food products is considered fundamental by customers for the perception of food quality and safety. The Section of Functional Genomics set up a method for the translation of the specific genetic profiling (fingerprint) into a ASCII system for the production of a traceability system RFID/DNA on chip. The Section tailored a diagnostic system for the main zoonotic pathogens transmitted by food: Vero Toxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC), Salmonella spp., Listeria spp. and Campylobacter spp. The diagnostic test is based on the Ligation Detection Reaction coupled with the Universal Array (LDR-UA).
Sexing of bovine embryos by molecular markers has become a routine method, together with molecular diagnostics in order to identify specific genetic diseases. The recent availability of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) panels made it possible to switch to estimated genetic indexes based on the analysis of the whole genome. The Functional Genomics Section is currently working on a SNP-based system of embryo genomic genotyping for implant.
Another line of research within genomics deals with host reaction (poultry, swine) to influenza virus. The Unit recently demonstrated the existence of a variability in the reaction of chicken to influenza virus with percentage of survival to in vivo inoculation up to 73% in certain genetic groups. Genetic variability in response to vaccination is currently investigated. Response in swine will be carried out as well, in order to identify specific markers of viral resistance not affecting productivity.
Researchers at the Functional Genomics Unit already carried out the in vitro differentiation of horse mesenchymal stem cells obtained from bone marrow into tenocytes and osteocytes. Different tissues (e.g. humbilical chord, amniotic fluid, adipose tissue) were studied as alternative sources of adult stem cells able to differentiate into osteoblasts, myocytes and tenocytes. The Unit is currently creating in vitro model systems for response to viral diseases and cytotoxicity assays.
Andrea Lauri, Paola Ornella Mariani
METHOD FOR THE SIMULTANEOUS IDENTIFICATION OF THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF ONE OR MORE SALMONELLA SEROTYPES
Stefania Violini, Paola Ornella Mariani
IN VITRO PRODUCTION OF TENOCYTES FROM MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS