The sustainable protection of plants relying on all tools and strategies that have minimal impact on human and environment health has become mandatory under the increasing demand and pressure from public opinion and, even more, under the dramatic challenges posed by climate change. In this context, an important role could be played by the elicitors of plant resistance as a valid alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides. Strong evidence has accumulated on the role of plant-microorganism symbiosis, particularly at root level, in enhancing plant protection from biotic and abiotic stresses. Conversely, the study of the effects of abiotic elicitors, such as silicon, is still in its infancy.
The species-specificity of these interactions and their final outcome require a thorough understanding of the molecular basis regulating them, in order to develop tools (and strategies) to be exploited in the near future for a sustainable approach in plant protection.
Dr. Emilio Guerrieri
Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Portici (NA), Italy
Interests: Plant Multitrophic interactions, aboveground-belowground interactions, plant root symbionts, sustainable plant protection
Prof. Guido Lingua
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro, Dipartimento di Scienze e Innovazione Tecnologica, Alessandria, Italy
Interests: Plant-microbe interactions, Arbuscular mycorrhizae, Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria, Plant biotic and abiotic stress.
Papers submitted to this Special Issue must report high novelty results about the identity of biotic and/or abiotic elicitors of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in crop or model systems, indicating the possible metabolites and metabolic pathways involved.
• biotic elicitors
• arbuscular mycorrhizae
• antagonist fungi (Trichoderma)
• PGPR / PGPB
• abiotic elicitors
• secondary metabolites
• molecular mechanisms
• biological control
• Induced systemic resistance
IJMS IF: 3.687
A new study, published in Nature Communications (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07775-w), performed by the Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection of CNR and the University of Cambridge, documents the initial steps of virus-mediated horizontal transfer of chromosomal DNA between plant species. The propensity of viruses to acquire genetic material from relatives and possibly from infected hosts makes them excellent candidates as vectors for horizontal gene transfer. We report spontaneous and surprisingly efficient generation of hybrid virus/host DNA molecules in the form of minicircles during infection of sugar beet by a single-strand DNA virus. The hybrid minicircles replicated, became encapsidated into viral particles, and spread systemically throughout infected plants in parallel with the viral infection. Importantly, when co-infected with the virus, sugar beet DNA captured in minicircles replicated and was transcribed in other plant species. Thus, we have likely documented in real time the initial steps of a possible path of virus-mediated horizontal transfer of chromosomal DNA between plant species.
The microbiome is generally referred to as the collective microbial genomes found in a particular habitat, while the microbiota is the set of microorganisms living in a specific environment. However, some authors use the term “microbiome” also to indicate the microbes that co-exist within complex communities. In this special issue the term “metabolites” refers only to the small molecules showing important functions in biological processes, with particular emphasis on secondary metabolites. The set of low molecular weight metabolites that are produced by organisms is defined as the “metabolome”. The components of the metabolome represent the end products of gene expression and define the biochemical status of an organism.
In the special issue “Recent Advances in Natural Products Chemistry Related to Metabolites and Microbiomes” of the scientific journal “Molecules”, guest-edited by Dr. Francesco Vinale and Professor Maria Luisa Balestrieri, the following topics will be covered:
- isolation of novel microbial compounds using metabolomic approaches;
- molecules and metabolomes related with agricultural applications (crop and animal productions);
- microbiomes and related natural products with beneficial effect in agriculture;
- plant metabolites with bioactive properties;
- influence of beneficial microbes and/or their metabolites on plant metabolome;
- microbial metabolites involved in plant or animal interactions;
- influence of production technologies on animal metabolomes and microbiomes.
Full research papers, reviews, short communications reporting the finding and the characterization of molecules, metabolomes and related microbiomes showing their potential for agricultural applications both directly (e.g. increased nutritional value of crops) and indirectly (e.g. effects on the environment, agricultural practices, etc…), as well as their effects on health are invited for this editorial project. Deadline: 09 December 2019
In the paper published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution (Murat et al., 2018), an international team led by Francis Martin, among which two Researchers at IPSP-CNR, Raffaella Balestrini and Antonietta Mello, has sequenced the genomes of the Piedmont white truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico) and the Burgundy black truffle (Tuber aestivum), as well as of lesser-known edible fungi such as the desert truffles (Terfezia boudieri), of pig truffles (Choiromyces venosus), and the genome of a black morel (Morchella importuna). Comparing these genomes with those of the already sequenced Perigord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum, Martin et al. 2010, Nature) the authors find unexpected genetic commonalities between the white and black truffle species, despite their separate evolutionary paths since their divergence over hundreds of millions of years. They also find that truffles have a limited set of the genes that allow other fungi to specialize in breaking down the cell walls of the plants on which they live. Instead, truffles finely tuned the expression of genes that produce smelly volatile organic compounds, generating the pungent aroma that attracts animals (famously pigs and truffle dogs) to disperse the truffle’s spores.
The Pathogens journal (MDPI), within the ‘Plant pathogens’ section, has launched the special issue ‘Streptomyces microbiomes in agriculture’ in order to collect review articles and research results covering all aspects of the knowledge about Streptomyces microbiomes in agriculture, with the objectives to unveil the mechanistic aspects of biocontrol, suppressive soils or interactions with plants and other organisms, and the dynamics of streptomycetes assemblies under diverse natural and anthropological pressures. Dr. Giovanni Bubici and Dr. Maria Isabella Prigigallo, working at the Bari section, are editors of the special issue. The deadline for article submission is May 31st, 2019. Read the flyer.
Further information is available at the following links:
The European Biotech Week comprises a week-long series of events celebrating biotechnology, an innovative and vibrant sector launched by the discovery of the DNA molecule back in 1953. The first European Biotech Week took place in 2013, marking the 60th anniversary of this pivotal moment in history. Thanks to that discovery, the deeper knowledge of genes, proteins, viruses, bacteria and genetic structures in general has allowed scientists and biotech entrepreneurs to translate knowledge into applications in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, food, energy, water sanitation and biochemical processing, all of which have changed the world for the better.
The European Biotech Week in Italy is coordinated and promoted by Assobiotec (http://assobiotec.federchimica.it/).
IPSP together with DBIOS of University of Torino organizes the event “Microorganisms at the service of environmental and human health”.
In the morning, four seminars will introduce some examples of microorganisms that can be used in different fields, such as agriculture, industry, medicine, in order to improve environmental, plants and human health.
In the afternoon, the same organisms and some of their possible biotech use will be presented with short experiments and displays.
If you are interested in the seminars, it is mandatory to book your seat in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information you can download the program of the event.
On September 7th at 2.30 pm Dr. Jeremy Thompson (Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section – Cornell University) will held the seminar entitled “The ever expanding virome of Vitis vinifera – grabloviruses and asteroids” at the IPSP Headquarters in Strada delle Cacce 73, Torino
A synthesis of the results obtained in the two H2020 projects POnTE and XF-ACTORS can be downloaded at https://goo.gl/XTda7A
Viroid-2018: International Conference on Viroids and Viroid-Like RNAs will be held in Valencia, Spain, from July 5-7, 2018. The meeting is a key appointment for scientists interested in disseminating the latest scientific advances on all aspect of viroids and viroid-like RNAs. During the congress, Dr. Francesco Di Serio will propose the foundation of The International Council for the Study of Viroids and Viroid-like RNAs (ICVd), a study group that will encourage dialogue and international collaborations between researchers interested in epidemiology, molecular biology, pathogenesis, taxonomy and all aspects related to these tiny and interesting infectious agents. Read the announcement and updated information
A document including the main results of the research on Xylella fastidiosa carried out so far by the H2020 EU-funded projects POnTE and XF-ACTORS, international consortia composed by prominent European research centres (CNR, INRA, ANSES, CSIC, IVIA, JRC, CIHEAM, etc…), is now available for free download on the websites of the two projects.
The document resumes the contributions brought by the projects’ researchers at the “European conference on Xylella fastidiosa”, held in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) last November 2017, and co-organized by EFSA, the University of the Balearic Islands, the Euphresco network, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission (DG RTD) and the two research projects POnTE and XF-ACTORS. For more information, please consult the XF-ACTORS official website.
The upcoming Congress of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union entitled “Plant health sustaining Mediterranean Ecosystems” will be held in Córdoba, Spain, from June 20-23, 2017. The meeting promotes dissemination of the latest scientific advances and encourages dialogue and collaboration between researchers interested in all aspects of Phytopathology. The conference language is English. Read the first announcement. For updated information: http://mpucordoba.mpunion.eu/
On Wednesday May 11th at 3.30 pm Marina Ciuffo from the IPSP Headquarter in Turin will hold a seminar entitled: “Searching for mycoviruses in a collection of marine fungi isolated from the sea grass Posidonia oceanica“.
The pilot project conducted by IPSP-CNR, in collaboration with the University of Bari and “Centro di Ricerca, Sperimentazione e Formazione in Agricoltura” of Locorotondo, aimed at “a better understanding of the susceptibility of some important perennial crop species to the Apulian strain of X. fastidiosa (denoted CoDiRO), by testing the susceptibility of major Mediterranean crops such as grapes, citrus, peach and plum, but also of forest species such as oak or other temperate trees. [...] Results from needle inoculations revealed the high susceptibility of olives, oleander and Polygala myrtifolia (high rate of infected plants) to the CoDiRO strain. From these hosts, the bacterium was successfully re-isolated and symptoms resembling those associated to X. fastidiosa (leaf scorching, die back, discoloration) were recorded during the experiments. Conversely, the experimental plants for the remaining species (citrus, grapes and Q. ilex) did not support bacterial infections nor developed symptoms” (excerpt from the EFSA scientific Report). Therefore, Giuseppe Stancanelli, head of EFSA’s Animal and Plant Health Unit, stated: “These findings confirm that the CoDiRO strain of X. fastidiosa causes olive dieback”.
The IPSP in collaboration with the Biophysics Institute is present at the Biophysics Week of Genova with the “Plant Science Box”
What if the science is a box full of surprises? Let’s look inside the box and let’s take an object: what can it tell us? Ranging from mathematics to physics, from biology to chemistry, we discover that each object, also those of everyday life, can tell us a little bit of science. “Science in a box” is a set of games and interactive educational activities designed by researches of CNR, to learn and play with science.
During the Biophysics Week you can experience the “Plant Science Box”: you will get a closer look to plants through mortar and pestle e will investigate the relationships between plants, virus and other microorganisms.
On Wednesday March 16th at 3.30 pm Luisa Rubino from the IPSPBari Unit will hold a seminar entitled: “Heterologous expression of a viral protein changes the nature of acetic acid-induced programmed cell death in Saccharomyces cerevisiae“.
On Wednesday January 13th at 3.30 pm Livia Stavolone from the IPSP Unit in Bari will hold a seminar entitled: “Cassava, the plant of the future : biodiversity, resistance to viruses and an intriguing physiology”.
The Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection will lead the International Research Consortium “POnTE” developing a four-year project, recently funded by the European Commission, under the Horizon 2020 programme. POnTE, whose acronym stands for Pest Organism Threatening Europe, will focus its activities on those phytopathogenic agents, nowadays recognized as some of the most relevant threats for European agriculture and forestry ecosystems.
Xylella fastidiosa and Candidatus Liberibacter Solanacearum bacteria, together with their vectors of transmission, and Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus e Phytophtora spp. fungi, will be characterized for their genetic and epidemiological features, in order to examine efficient and sustainable strategies for their control and containment, with the aim to avert their threatening advance throughoutourcontinent.
The project, coordinated by Dr. Donato Boscia, Responsible of Bari Research Unit of the Institute, will involve 25 partners, including Research Institutions as well as SMEs, distributed in 13 EU and extra-EU countries.
For further information, please visit the project page.
On Wednesday November 11th at 3.30 pm Simona Abbà from the IPSP Headquarter in Turin will hold a seminar entitled: “Phytoplasma, plant host and insect vector: harnessing the transcriptomes of a disease triangle”.
IPSP will be present at the XIII edition of the Genoa Science Festival, which is a chance for everybody, irrespective of the age or the education, to be in touch with the scientific world in a funny but effective manner. The Festival will be held from the 22nd of October to the 1st of November and will have “Equilibrium” as leading subject. IPSP will bring a game where delving into the world of plants and the diverse factors influencing their growth. The challenge will be trying to grow a plant as much as possible finding the right balance among the need of the plant and the adverse factors. If you want to play with us, go to the Natural History Museum Giacomo Doria. For info and booking go to (link in Italian): http://www.festivalscienza.it/site/home/programma/eventi-per-tipo/laboratori/cresce…non-cresce.html
On Wednesday October 14th at 3.30 pm Silvia Fineschi from the IPSP Florence Unit will hold a seminar entitled: “Diversification of Volatile Isoprenoid Emissions from Trees: Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives”.
After a fire that destroyed 20,000 hectares of forest in Spain, a group of cypresses was still standing tall and green. The Spanish scientists, in collaboration with the IPSP-CNR Florence Unit, are investigating this intriguing phenomenon. Learn more.
The 18th Congress of the International Council for the Study of Virus and Virus-like Diseases of the Grapevine (ICVG) will be held in Ankara on 7-11 September, 2015. For more info visit the official website http://www.icvg2015.org/
On Wednesday July 15th at 3.30 pm Andrea Berruti from the IPSP Turin Unit will hold a seminar entitled: “Targeted metagenomics to reveal mycorrhizal fungal communities associated to wild Camellia japonica specimens in the Shimane prefecture, Japan”.
On 6 July 2015 at 3 p.m. in the Library Hall of the IPSP Headquarter in Turin Dr. Luca SARDO (National Cancer Institute NIH, Frederick, Maryland, USA) will hold a seminar entitled: “The Dynamics of HIV-1 RNA Near the Plasma Membrane During Virus Assembly”.
“Nature” supports the Italian scientists working on the Xylella emergency against the public criticism and the attempts to delegitimize the results of their scientific research. Read the article.
On Thursday 21 May at 1:00 p.m. Dr. Nancy P. Keller from the University of Wisconsin at Madison USA will hold a seminar entitled: “Pathogenic fungi: genome and biological insights into the secondary metabolome arsenal” at the “Aula Magna” DBIOS in Viale P.A. Mattioli 25, Turin.
On Wednesday May 13th at 3.30 pm Raffaella Balestrini (IPSP- Turin Unit) will hold the seminar entitled: “Laser microdissection to explore cell-specificity in plant interactions”.
On April 15th 2015 Raffaella Balestrini received the “Marcello Sgarlata Award 2015″, upon designation by the CNR President Luigi Nicolais, for her research activities in the field of plant biology. Each year the award is assigned by the Association Marcello Sgarlata to a scientific researcher for the excellence of his/her work.
Our colleagues of the BARI Unit, in collaboration with the University of Bari, have recently published the draft genome sequence of the Xylella fastidiosa CoDiRO strain, which has been isolated from olive plants in southern Italy (Apulia). It is associated with olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS) and characterized by extensive scorching and desiccation of leaves and twigs.
From August 2014 until July 2015 Massimo Turina and Marina Ciuffo at the IPSP in Torino will host Andrè Bertran and Renato Resende, a PhD student and his tutor respectively, from the University of Brasilia. They will work on a number of shared projects on Tospoviruses.
Dr. Deborah N. Ade from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria) will be hosted by the CNR-IPSP, Bari Unit, from April 1st to July 31st 2015. Coworker of Dr. Livia Stavolone , Dr. Fabrizio Cillo. and Dr. A.V. Carluccio, Dr. Ade will prepare small RNA libraries from virus-infected plants, in the framework of studies aiming to reaveal resistance mechanisms in cassava – African cassava mosaic virus interactions.
On Wednesday March 11th at 3.30 pm Piero Caciagli (IPSP- Turin Headquarter) will hold the seminar entitled: “A Cyber Age Approach for the Management of Barley Yellow Dwarf Disease in Winter Cereals”.
On February 11th at 3:30 pm in streaming video from the Bari Unit Sergio Molinari will hold a seminar entitled: “Activation of the plant immune system as a sustainable strategy for plant protection”.
On May 1st the merger between the Institute of Plant Virology and the Institute for Plant Protection of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) led to the newly formed Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP), directed by Dr. Gian Paolo Accotto.
Here are the main research themes of the new institute:
1. Biotic and abiotic stress, plant defence and adaptation mechanisms;
2. Plant disease interactions with other organisms and the surrounding environment;
3. Genetic, epigenetic and molecular approaches to study the biodiversity of the microorganisms that support and protect plants;
4. Diagnosis for plant protection;
5. Sustainable technologies for plant protection.
The merger is still in progress, so, during this transition period, the official web sites of the two previous institutes will be still operational, waiting for the new IPSP website.
The Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection – CNR in Bari, the Department of Soil, Plant and Food Science of the University of Bari, the Research Center “Basile Caramia” (CRSFA) of Locorotondo, Bari, and the National and Regional Plant Health Services are pleased to announce the “International Symposium on the European outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in olive”, to be held in Gallipoli (October 21-22, 2014), and followed by technical laboratory workshops at the CRSFA, Locorotondo (October 23-24, 2014).