My research concerns the physiological and biochemical response of plants to abiotic and biotic stresses. One of the main topic is the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, polyphenols and volatile and non-volatile isoprenoids, as a defence against environmental stressors, in particular drought. This study is conducted utilizing the following techniques: HPLC-DAD, HPLC-MS-MS and GC-MS. The utilization of these techniques has also allowed further collaborations for the study of the nutraceutical activity of secondary metabolites extracted from plant tissues. This is also the main topic of the project “Aurumfolium” (PSR – FEASR 2014-2020 Regione Toscana). Over the last few years, my research activity has also included the study of tree vulnerability to embolism of xylem vessels, by analyzing water relations and hormones involved in the metabolism of xylem parenchyma under drought. On this topic, we are collaborating with the Maremma Regional Park for the study of the impacts of climate change on the vegetation of Mediterranean coastal ecosystems, in particular to study the widespread mortality of Quercus ilex in coastal forests.
Project Leader for: Aurumfolium