Fields of research
The main fields of research are the following: i) Investigation of plant reproductive systems, mainly genetic control of fertilization barriers (e.g. male-sterility and self-incompatibility) and seed formation (i.e. apomixis); ii) Genome analysis by NGS technologies and DNA markers aimed at the construction of linkage maps, identification and mapping of genes and QTLs, and marker-assisted selection and breeding (MAB); iii) Transcriptome analysis and gene expression studies; iv) Analysis of genetic diversity: characterization of varieties by SSR genotyping and SNP-based haplotyping; v) Development of molecular diagnostic assays for the genetic traceability of agri-food products using DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding.
Main research projects and contracts
i) Genetic characterization of local varieties of maize (Zea mays var. indurata L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) using molecular markers.
(Research project BIONET - Regional Network of Biodiversity, Misura 214H funded by Veneto Region)
ii) Transcriptomics of reproductive organs in model species (Hypericum perforatum L.) for comparative analysis of the genetic-molecular factors characterizing sexual and apomictic processes.
(Research project No. CPDA128282/12 funded by the University of Padova)
iii) Discovery of male sterility in of leaf chicory (Cichorium intybus L.): genetic analysis and methods for the marker-assisted breeding of F1 hybrid varieties.
(Research contract funded by the seed company T&T Agricola - Rosolina (Rovigo))
iv) Self-incompatibility in olive (Olea europaea L.): analysis of pollen-pistil interactions at the cytological, genetic and molecular levels.
(Strategic project OLEA - Olive genomics and breeding, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture Policies with D.M. 27011/7643/10 and Research project No. 60A08-8801/12 funded by the University of Padova)
v) Molecular characterization of experimental pure lines of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and lattuce (Lactuca sativa L.) for the marker-assisted breeding of F1 hybrid varieties.
(Research contract funded by the Seed company BLUMEN GROUP SpA - Bologna).
vi) Development of molecular diagnostic assays for the genetic traceability of agrifood products, with particular reference to grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).
(Research project No. CPDA087818 funded by the University of Padova and Italian Ministry of University, Research, Science and Technology).