At Bari Unit, research is carried out within the six Research Activities characterizing the institute, in disciplinary subjects such as plant pathology (viruses and viroids, nematodes, fungi and bacteria), population genetics and molecular biology (of pathogens and plants), plant biotechnologies:
- Biodiversity of agro-forest ecosystems (BIODIV): collection of viral/viroidal isolates and derivative products. Taxonomy of viruses and viroids. Study of the biodiversity of plant parasitic nematodes associated with agricultural and forest crops, entomopathogenic nematodes and insect associated nematodes.
- Plant Protection Diagnostics (DIAGN): identification, biological and molecular characterization of new pathogens, models for predicting the spread of plant diseases, risk assessment and prevention; reduction of the use of pesticides through integrated and biological defense strategies and the study of innovative eco-friendly pesticides.
- Molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the functioning of plants and associated living organisms (MOLCELL): study of genetic determinants and molecular mechanisms that limit productivity, conventional breeding and biotechnologies for the modification of genomes, epigenetics, “omics” methodologies. Model systems for the study of viral replication mechanisms and virus-host interactions, and for the expression of heterologous proteins; molecular biology and pathogenesis of viroids. Molecular and functional characterization of nematode genes involved in the plant-parasite interaction and influence of abiotic stress on the expression of effector genes during parasitism. Study of plant response through gene expression analysis for the identification of biotic and abiotic double stress tolerance mechanisms.
- Plant protection technologies (TECNO): evaluation of the phytosanitary risk generated by plant pathogens and parasites. Study of the regulation of gene expression and the regulation of genomes by biotic and infectious agents. Protocols for the containment of phytoparasitic nematode populations and related molecular and physiological mechanisms. Modeling of the relationships between plants, nematodes and natural biocontrol agents. Characterization of beneficial microorganisms and antagonists of nematodes of agricultural interest, study of their ecology and host-parasite relationships.