Group Leader: Laura Rossini
Raul Pirona, Post-doc researcher
Giorgiana Chietera, Researcher
Vahid Shariati, Researcher
Elena Audia, Junior scientist
Cinzia Colombi, Lab manager
Collaborators from the University of Milan:
Elahe Tavakol, Post-doc
Igor Pacheco Cruz, Post-doc
Cassia Da Silva, PhD student
Nader El Badry, PhD student
Ahmed Hussein Elsayed, PhD student
Former Group Members:
Iban Eduardo Munoz
Our research unit focuses on genomics applied to crops, with the aim of understanding metabolic pathways involved in plant architecture and quality determination and resistances to viruses. We are also conducting research activity in the field of GMOs diagnosis and molecular farming.Our projects are dealing with the following topics:
- Peach genomics and functional genomics
- Barley molecular development
- Molecular diagnostic of GMOs contaminants
- Molecular farming
- Plant resistance to virosis
Peach is an economically important fruit tree: Italy is the second world wide producer although the production and consumption of this fruit is decreasing, due to phytopatological problems and a reduced quality perceived by the consumers. Our aim is to develop genomics tools to understand:
1. how the aroma is produced during fruit maturation
2. which are the genetics determinants of fruit quality (in particular fruit shape, color, taste, etc.).
For this purposes we developed expressed sequence tags (ESTs) collection (available athttp://www.itb.cnr.it/estree/), microarray for multiparallel gene expression analysis and a function map of peach hosting ESTs selected as putative key genes in secondary metabolisms. Also, we are exploiting GC-MS analysis and enzymatic kinetics experiments, conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Milano, to deepen our understanding of the metabolism of the aroma production. The mapping activity we are conducting is resulting in the identification of molecular markers that will eventually be used for early selection of favourable genotypes.
We are also investigating the transcriptome changes during maturation, with particular regard for genes involved in secondary metabolism. This is achieved by the use of MicroPeach 2.0, a microarrayed selection of approx. 5000 unigenes and produced on a Combimatrix platform.
Our activity has been conducted in the frame of a collaboration among several national and internation research institutions. We are currently managing the ESTree Consortium, an Italian initiative for peach genomics, which is collaborating with the International Consortium managed by Prof. A. Abbott at Clemson University.
The ESTree Consortium is also a principal proponent of the European Rosaceae Genomics Initiative (ERGI).
Barley is a world wide cultivated cereal, ranking third for overall production.
We developed a collection of mutations (approx. 300 genotypes), which is now genetically characterized. We further focused our interest on the molecular mechanisms controlling the development of the leaf and leafy like organs of the flower, such as the lemma and the palea. We cloned a transcription factor of the homeobox containing class and demonstrated its neo-meristematic activity. We are currently characterizing in great detail the mechanisms governing its control, the genes which are interacting with it and the physical regions involved. Also we are interested in understanding the nature of mutations involving branching of the plant (stem and flower), as this character may be of great economical interest. At present we are working on one mutation of the branching of the inflorescence, using tools based on comparative genomics.
Molecular Diagnostic Project
A further research line is dealing with the diagnosis of genetically modified plants in animal feed. This activity is of great interest in the light of recent european directives concerning contamination thresholds and their determination. We are using an experimental approach based on microarry and a modified AFLP-based strategy to amplify the target DNA from animal feed.
Molecular Farming Project
We are conducting research aimed to use plants as natural bioreactors and thus extract a bioactive protein to be used in downstream pharmaceutical applications.
Virus resistance Project
The lab is interested in finding alternative ways to induce virus resistance. The rationale is to "vaccinate" plants using parts of the virus genome as "antigenes". The "immunitary response" that we want to trigger is actually based on the gene silencing phenomenon, that should be able to trigger the silencing of viral genes which are in turn designed to shut-off the silencing mechanism that the plant uses as self defense.
News Genomica Vegetale
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 00:00
There are no translations available.PTP - 06.06.12 - Il Parco Tecnologico Padano sta cercando un ricercatore per attivare una collaborazione biennale presso la propria unità operativa di Catania Read more...
Friday, 10 February 2012 09:12
There are no translations available.PTP - 10.02.12 - Il Parco Tecnologico Padano sta cercando un ricercatore chimico per attivare una collaborazione biennale presso la propria unità operativa di Read more...