Antonietta Mello is Senjor Researcher in the Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP) of the CNR at the University of Turin. Her main research has focused on studying the biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi and the development of diagnostic tools for the identification of edible fungal species at all stages of their life cycle. Thanks to these tools she studied the dynamics of truffles in selected truffle fields and their interaction with other soil microorganisms. For some years she has been interested in studying soil microorganisms (environmental microbiology) through metagenomics in order to correlate these microorganisms with the productivity of fruiting bodies and the presence of pianelli associated with some species of truffles. Lately, in a forensic microbiology approach, she is using soil metagenomics to study microorganisms as a marker of the post-mortem interval. It has also been involved in the genomics of mycorrhizal fungi through the annotation of genes responsible for the synthesis of volatile organic compounds and in the “comparative genomics” of the genes for the stress response of Pezizomycetes within a European Consortium. Her recent interests are: the exploration of mycological resources for the improvement of productivity and resilience of Mediterranean forests threatened by climate change, through the LifeMycorestore project in which she is responsible for the metagenomic activities of fungal communities in the sites of interest for the project ; the identification of isolates of the genus Chaetomium, interesting for the production of metabolites for pharmaceutical and food use, from extreme environments such as the desert, in a bilateral project with Egypt; the exploration of fungal biodiversity in forests of Madagascar in collaboration with the University of Turin; search of microorganisms useful for improving cultivation of desert truffles, in collaboration with Murcia University.
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