, senior scientist
|Rice Genomics - Chinese Version|
The Rice Genomics Unit operates since 2006 within CeRSA, with the specific aim to perform basic and applied research to address the needs of the rice supply chain in Europe.
Italy is the main rice producing and exporting country in the EU with a cultivated area of 247.700 hectares and a production of 1.516.400 tons of paddy rice, equal to 46% of the total European production (FAO statistics 2010). Rice cultivation in the world’s most productive areas has reached its peak through modern agricultural practices and breeding strategies, while the exponential growth of the human population would require a further and continuous increase of productivity. This becomes more and more a challenge due to the recent global climate changes, determining adverse abiotic stress conditions, such as water shortage and increased soil salinity, along with environmental deterioration caused by the high input of pesticides against pathogens and of fertilisers.
Therefore, the development of innovative solutions is crucial to increase rice production, taking into account the current environmental conditions and resources available, for an improved and sustainable cultivation of temperate rice in Europe.
To guide rice breeding programmes with innovative tools and know-how to develop competitive European temperate rice varieties with improved quality, yield and sustainability for the environment.
Characterization and valorisation of Italian and European rice biodiversity applying modern and novel genomics approaches.
Our activities are divided in RESEARCH and APPLICATIONS.
In all of our projects we combine basic science research “curiosity driven”, to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the fundamental biological processes, and applied research, to solve critical problems in rice breeding and adaptation to the environment.
The main topics of our research activities are summarised in the following figure:
1. Genomic characterization of EU temperate rice biodiversity
(Raffaella Greco, Paolo Cozzi, Laura Crispino)
- High-throughput genotyping for the characterisation of Italian and European rice germplasm (300 accessions) as a resource of agronomically relevant traits to be introduced in ongoing and future breeding programmes
- Molecular characterization of the genetic and pathogenic diversity of a large Magnaporthe oryzae collection (300 strains) isolated from Italian rice growing areas
- Development of diagnostic molecular techniques for varietal identification and traceability of rice-derived products, to improve rice quality in terms of nutritional value and food security
2. Molecular dissection of stress responses
(Biotic stress team: Pamela Abbruscato, Barbara Menin, Laura Crispino; Abiotic stress team: Raffaella Greco, Paolo Riccardi, Alessandra Vattari)
- Phenotyping and functional characterization of candidate genes involved in rice responses to fungal pathogens (blast infection) and reduced water availability
- Genotype/phenotype association studies for the identification of molecular markers associated to rice tolerance to adverse environmental conditions to be used for Marked Assisted Breeding (MAB)
- Genetic and functional diversity of rice-associated microbial communities to exploit the microbiome ecosystem as a basis for crop protection strategies and a more efficient tolerance to stress conditions
Since 2006 the Rice Genomics Unit has been involved in several national and EU projects in the field of rice biodiversity and resistance to stresses:
Ongoing research projects
- GS-RUSE (2013-2016; Co-coordinator): “Genomic selection for resources use efficiency in rice”, funded by the Agropolis Foundation and the CARIPLO Foundation within the “French-Italian Rice Science and Technology (FIRST) Initiative” (more details here)
- POLORISO (2012-2014; WP leader): “Research, experimentation, new technologies, environmental sustainability and advanced training for the strengthening of the national rice production chain”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture
- RISINNOVA (2011-2014; WP leader): “Integrated genetic and genomic approaches for new Italian rice breeding strategies”, funded by 13 Italian private foundations within the framework of the AGER project aimed at boosting scientific research in agro-food (more details here)
- BIOGESTECA (2010-2013; WP leader): “Green biotechnology platform and innovative management technologies for a sustainable rice cultivation”, funded by the Lombardy Region
- DRYRICE (2010-2013; Coordinator): “Development of drought-tolerant rice varieties for a sustainable rice production in Italy”, funded by the CARIPLO Foundation.
Completed research projects
- EURIGEN (2007-2010; Project coordinator): "Genotyping for the Conservation and Valorization of European Rice Germplasm", funded by the European Commission - DG Agriculture and Rural Development within the AGRI GEN RES action 049 (more details here)
- RISOVAL (2007-2010; Task leader): “A network of rice varietal testing and development of molecular methods for valorisation of rice varieties cultivated in Lombardy”, funded by the Lombardy Region (more details here)
- RICEIMMUNITY (2006-2008; Project coordinator): “The study of resistance mechanism to biotic and abiotic stress in rice”, funded by the CARIPLO Foundation
- VALORYZA (2007-2009; Task leader): "Innovative strategies for competitiveness and food security of Italian rice germplasm”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture
The services developed in our group and described below are available upon request.
For further details and to receive a quote for your analysis please contact:
RICE-ID is a DNA-based fingerprinting method for the rapid and unequivocal identification of rice commercial varieties (Official Gazette of the Italian Republic No. 22 of 28.01.09 - Decree 13.11.08) in view of traceability and certification of paddy rice and rice-derived products. RICE-ID relies on genotyping with a set of variety-specific molecular markers (DNA BARCODE) developed in our laboratory. Genotyping data are then processed using a software called RICLASS (RIce genotype CLASsification System) that allows the automated identification of a rice variety based on its DNA fingerprint (DNA BARCODE) profile. RICE-ID is applicable to: rice grains, rice flours and rice-derived food products. Its discrimination potential was validated by blind tests carried out on mixed rice flours.
TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesion IN Genomes) is a reverse-genetics approach combining chemical mutagenesis with a sensitive DNA screening-technique to identify point mutations in target genes. In the framework of the RISINNOVA project, a TILLING rice population derived from Ethyl Methan Sulphonate (EMS) treatment of the variety Volano was generated. The Volano Italian rice variety was chosen as representative of the traditional rice quality and of relevance for ongoing breeding programs in Italy. High-throughput screening to identify mutations in genes of interest in the Volano TILLING population can be carried out at the PTP Genomics Platform using the validated FLUOTILL technology.
BLASTEST is a high-throughput screening system to rapidly evaluate rice resistance/susceptibility to leaf blast. This assay enables to inoculate rice plantlets of different varieties and progenies of mapping populations with M. oryzae strains and rapidly and reliably screen disease phenotypes (pathogen lesions, resistance necrosis) on rice leaves in a dedicated growth chamber with highly controlled conditions.
News Genomica Riso
Monday, 22 April 2013 08:46
There are no translations available.PTP - 22.04.13 - Un'importante ricerca scientifica sulla caratterizzazione molecolare della resistenza del riso al brusone è stata pubblicata nella rivista PLOS Read more...
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 00:00
There are no translations available.PTP - 05.12.12 - Mercoledì 5 Dicembre, si terrà presso il PTP il seminario del Dott. Eraldo Secchi di De Nora NEXT, dal titolo "Il progetto Verdenora: Read more...