Proteomics (2-DE, LC-MS / MS) and metabolomics (GC in solid phase) approaches are used to study the modulation of the main antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, APX, GR), as well as of the enzymes belonging to the glyoxalase system and the secondary metabolites related to them (ascorbic acid, hydrogen peroxide, methyl-glyoxal, volatile compounds carbon) in plants exposed or not to stress.
Citrus fruits are often grown in soils subject to salinity and/or water scarcity which reduce the productivity of the plant. To overcome this issue, a method used by the citrus industry is to graft the productive plant on an abiotic stress-tolerant rootstock. Therefore, in collaboration with the EMBRAPA-“Frutos y Mandioca “ Institute of Cruz das Almas and the State University of Santa Cruz (Brazil), we are studying the enzymes and metabolite variations in different scion/rootstock combinations, in order to identify the best combination for improving and maintaining the fruit productivity and organoleptic qualities. The project is funded by CAPES (Brazil).
Also in the context of another project funded by CAPES, in collaboration with the University of Pelotas (Brazil), I am studying the proteomic, and metabolomics profile of rice plants exposed to repeated sessions of drought stress, in order to identify “memory” effects and the possible acquired tolerance.
In collaboration with the Italian company “Riso di Nori” and CNR- Institute of Biology and Agricultural Biotechnology and CNR-Institute of Bio Economy, I am evaluating the stimulating properties of the algae (Scenedesmus, Chlorella) and the cyanobacteria (Nostoc) on the growth, productivity and organoleptic quality of rice plants belonging to Carnaroli, Violet and Orange varieties.
I also maintain collaborations and I am currently the supervisor of a doctoral thesis at the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Science for a study on water stress tolerance of local tomato varieties.
Riso di Nori: Study of the stimulant effects of algae and cyanobacteria on rice (Oryza sativa) varieties patented by the company “Riso di Nori”.