Graduated in Agricultural Sciences (1982), CNR researcher since 1984, he started the research activity on nematode antagonistic microorganisms in 1988 at the Dept. of Nematology of the University of California, Riverside studying, in collaboration with R. Mankau, the bacteria of the genus Pasteuria. The main scientific interests focused on the microbiology of the rhizosphere and microparasites, biological control and the sustainability of agricultural productions. The research on antagonistic microorganisms of phytoparasitic nematodes concerns host-parasite relationships and their ecology, applying descriptive non-linear models. He developed and introduced, for the first time in the microbiological field (1993), new non-invasive techniques based on Atomic Force Microscopy (Nanoscope) or Photon Emission, with first high resolution observations on nematodes, bacteria or organic molecules (enzymes, antibodies). The activity therefore concerned the diagnosis of nematodes and associated microorganisms, and pathogens including plant viruses or parasites of marine organisms. Applied research aimed at the development of products for the organic management of nematodes, studying the gene expression of endophytic fungi and biocontrol agents with transcriptomic analysis. He is interested in the study of natural substances with nematicide action, and in the metagenomics of the rhizosphere, collaborating with European and international research groups and with Italian biopharmaceutical industries. He is reviewer for numerous international scientific journals and research agencies, and has organized international and national congresses on nematology. He edited several volumes on integrated defense and plant disease management, and is the author of over 200 publications or abstracts. He was Head of Section, Delegated Officer and in charge of research lines “Study and development of innovative strategies for the protection of plants” and “Eco-sustainable technologies for the protection of plants from damage agents” in the CNR Project “Development of the agro-industrial system “.
Project leader for: Microbial uptakes for sustainable management of major banana pests and diseases