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Patologia Vegetale

Department: Dipartimento di Agraria
Location and Contacts: c/o Dipartimento Agraria
Feo di Vito
89122 Reggio Calabria
Tel. +39 0965 801255
Fax +39 0965 312827
Area (mq): 80
Rooms: 2
Director: Leonardo Schena
Mail: Mail
Technical Responsible: Maria Giulia Li Destri Nicosia
Full Professors: Gaetano Magnano Di San Lio (AGR/12)
Associate Professors: Giovanni Enrico Agosteo (AGR/12)
Giuliana Renata Albanese (AGR/12)
Leonardo Schena (AGR/12)
Researchers: Maria Giulia Li Destri Nicosia (AGR/12)
PhD graduates: Ahmed Abdelfattah, Anna Fontana, Silvia Scibetta, Sonia Pangallo, Claudia Straquadanio.
PhD students: Giuseppe Micali, Imen Belgacem
Research fellows: Ahmed Abdelfattah
Project-based collaborators: Anna Maria Cichello, Giovanna Leo

Principal aims

The laboratory research activities in the plant defense field, affecting the quality and yield of agricultural production, as well as environment protection and human health. These activities are implemented through the monitoring and study of diseases that are already or may become a threat to crops health, in particular Mediterranean crops, including phythophthora spp. and Armillaria, olive leprosy, peacock's eye and plant virus and viroids, in particular on citrus, vine, olive and vegetables crops. Much attention is also paid to the development of alternative means of fight versus field and post-harvest diseases (fungi, bacteria and viruses), based mainly on the use of microbial populations and substances derived by vegetal and natural extracts The fight against mycotoxigenic fungi falls into this reseach line.

Research activities

Plant Pathology Laboratory has been operating in the Calabrian territory for more than twenty years and is equipped with skills and equipment that allow to carry out advanced analysis including the characterization and biological and/or molecular diagnosis of pathogens and useful microorganisms. The main topics concern:
- Biological-molecular characterization of Phythophthora spp. in agrarian and forestal ecosystems;
- Study of the genetic diversity of Phytophthora species through molecular analysis (metagenomic analysis, SSR, SNP)
- Study of the biology and ecology of causal agents of olive leprosy;
- Development of plant defense systems versus main diseases (fungi, bacteria, viruses), environmentally friendly and safe for agricultural operators and consumers. In this context different means of control are experimented under experimental and commercial conditions, including mainly plant extracts, antagonist microorganisms and organic and inorganic salts;
- Study of plant microbiome both with conventional mycological analysis tools and with advanced molecular analysis (metagenomic analysis);
- Development and application of molecular diagnostics for the diagnosis of important phytopathogenic fungi in the Mediterranean environment;
- Monitoring and characterization of the citrus fruitlessness virus;
- Diagnosis and characterization of viral agents included quarantine pathogens lists
- Application of micro-propagation and virus recovery techniques for grapevines, olive trees and main fruit-tree crops of interest for Calabrian agriculture.
- Monitoring and characterization of viruses and virus-like of grapevine
- Monitoring and characterization of olive virus.
- Monitoring and characterization of horticultural species viruses (tomato, pepper, hot pepper, onion)
- Study of plant-pathogen interactions, in particular plant viruses/vegetable crops, in the accumulation of secondary metabolites of nutraceutical interest
- Development of specific molecular diagnostic protocols (Molecular hybridization, Polymerase chain reaction-PCR, ReatlTime-PCR) for the main viral pathogens reported in Calabria and/or present in the Alert List EPPO A1 / A2
- Virological metagenomic analysis of plant samples
- Sequencing of viral genomes
- Health certification for grapevine, olive trees and other fruit trees (laboratory accreditation).

International relationships

James Hutton Institute in Scozia; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in California e West Virginia (USA); University of Western Sydney (Australia); University of Berkeley (USA); The Volcani Center (Israel); University of California (USA); Phytophthora Research Centre (Czech Republic), IGM, Université Paris-sud (Francia), Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA) – York (UK)

Smart Specialisation Strategy Calabria (S3 Calabria)

- Agroalimentare

Research fields

Responsible Keywords ERC Domain
Gaetano Magnano Di San Lio LS9_5 - Agriculture related to crop production, soil biology and cultivation, applied plant biology
Giuliana Renata Albanese LS9_5 - Agriculture related to crop production, soil biology and cultivation, applied plant biology
Giovanni Enrico Agosteo LS9_5 - Agriculture related to crop production, soil biology and cultivation, applied plant biology
Leonardo Schena LS9_5 - Agriculture related to crop production, soil biology and cultivation, applied plant biology
Maria Giulia Li Destri Nicosia LS9_5 - Agriculture related to crop production, soil biology and cultivation, applied plant biology
LS9_5 - Agriculture related to crop production, soil biology and cultivation, applied plant biology

Patents and acknowledgments

Titolare Brevetti Riconoscimenti


Responsible Keywords Services
Leonardo Schena Identification of phytopathogens Phytopathogenic agents identification
Leonardo Schena Development of crop protection products Development of bio-formualte based on vegetal extract to contrast plant diseases
Giuliana Renata Albanese Plant Virology, Sanitary certification for grapevine, olive, and fruit-tree
Giuliana Renata Albanese Plant Virology, Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) Diagnosis

Great equipment

  • Bilancia tecnica
  • 3 Termociclatori per PCR convenzionale
  • Set di Celle elettroforetiche
  • Molecular Imager Gel Doc XR
  • Stufe sterilizzatrici da laboratorio
  • Spettrofotometro
  • Cappa a flusso laminare
  • Cappa chimica aspirante
  • Centrifuga per microtubi
  • Centrifuga da pavimento
  • Autoclave da banco
  • Autoclave da pavimento
  • 3 Congelatori (-20°C)
  • 3 Ultra Congelatori ( -80°C)
Responsabili Leonardo Schena
Classificazione: Environmental Sciences
Fondi: Vari
Utenza: Interna
Applicazioni: Progetti di ricerca e contratti di ricerca

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