Raio Aida

publications: ORCID
personal details and research activity: People
Curriculum Vitae

The research activity of Dr. Aida Raio is focused on the development and application of low environmental impact strategies to control fungal and bacterial plant diseases, the molecular diagnosis of plant diseases induced by phytopathogenic bacteria and the biochemical and molecular characterization of rhizopsheric bacterial species as potential biocontrol agents.
During the last years, part of the research activity was focused on the bacterium Pseudomonas chlororaphis M71, that is an effective antagonist of the phytopathogenic fungi Seiridium cardinale and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Lycopersici, and an inducer of drought stress tolerance in tomato plants. The biocontrol activity of M71 strain in vitro and in vivo is mainly due to the production of phenazine, which are wide spectrum antibiotics. Recent studies showed also that some volatile compounds (e. g. methanethiol, DMDS) emitted by M71, were involved in its antimicrobial activity. The comparative study of three M71 derivative natural mutants, regarding the expression of genes linked to biocontrol activity, will highlight the specific role of the involved molecules.
The current research regards also the essential oils and their components (EOs), as an important source of antimicrobial compounds. However, these molecules are characterized by high volatility and low persistence. The antimicrobial activity of EOs encapsulated in solid structures (e. g. co-crystals and cyclodextrins), against bacterial and fungal plant pathogens is under investigation. The solid structures increase the EOs persistence and then the possibility to use them as pesticide of natural origin and alternative to chemicals.
The project PRIMA-Green Palm (2020-2022), regards the study of the response of different genotypes of palm trees to biotic and abiotic factors, in particular to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis, the causal agent of the Bayoud disease of date palm.