Biologist, PhD in Fungal Biology and Biotechnology. With CNR since 1998, Raffaella is currently Research Director at CNR-IPSP. She has expertise on studies aimed to highlight the cellular and molecular bases of plant-soil microorganism interactions, mainly focusing on cell wall changes and nutritional exchanges. She mainly contributed to elucidate different aspects related to the interface creation in mycorrhizal symbioses and, by applying a laser microdissection (LMD) approach, she contributed to obtain new knowledge on the cell-specificity in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) roots. Thanks to the participation at diverse international consortia, she has contributed to highlight the genome features of different mycorrhizal fungi. Current research interests mainly address crop responses to environmental stresses and the role of root-associated microorganisms (e.g., mycorrhizal fungi) in improving tolerance. This is achieved by an integrative approach including cellular and molecular analyses, including -omics approaches (mainly transcriptomics). Scientific activities have been carried out within national and international projects including EU projects. Editorial board member for different scientific journals and referee for several project proposals for different national and international Institutions. Associated Editor for the Plant Stress journal. She has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed indexed journals and several chapters.
Project Leader for:
- OPTIMal USage of natural product and biological PRIMing agents to improve rEsilience of agrosystems to climate change (OPTIMUS PRIME);
- Phosphorus use efficiency and genetics of bread wheat (PGEN-BW)
- Resilient to climate change extremes Mediterranean Agricultural Systems: leveraging the power of soil health and associated microbiota (RESCHEDULE)
- Vertical Farming: Development of a prototype to produce high value horticultural crops enriched by bioactive molecules (VertiGrow)
- Root phenotyping and genetic improvement for rotational crops resilient to environmental change