Fields of research
The main fields of basic and applied 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. parthenogenesis and apomixis); ii) Genome analysis by NGS technologies and DNA markers aimed at the construction of linkage maps, identification and mapping of genes, and marker-assisted breeding (MAB) for the selection of new varieties; iii) Transcriptome analysis and gene expression studies by RNA-seq and Real-Time PCR; iv) Analysis of genetic diversity: characterization of populations by GBS, SSR genotyping and SNP-based haplotyping; v) Development of molecular diagnostic assays for the genetic traceability of agri-food products of plant and animal origin using DNA fingerprinting and cpDNA/mtDNA barcoding.
Main past and current 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 and cells in model species (Hypericum perforatum L. and Paspalum spp.) 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 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 lines of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), egg plant (Solanum melongena L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) for the marker-assisted breeding of new varieties.
(Research contracts and services 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 olive (Olea europaea L.).
(Research project No. CPDA087818 funded by the University of Padova and Italian Ministry of University, Research, Science and Technology)
vii) Marker-assisted selection of new common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varieties for organic farming systems.
(Research project Uni-Impresa 2019-21 VALEBIO, funded by the University of Padova and co-funded by the Seed company BLUMEN GROUP SpA - Bologna)