Portici Unit Thematics

At the secondary unit of Portici we work on different Thematic Areas. The activities carried out concern several sectors of the entomology and plant pathology. In details:

  • Study of the interactions between plant and insect carried out with behavioral assays on pest, natural enemies and their host plant in controlled environment
  • Study of the ecosystem services of pollinators for ecological and sustainable agriculture (IPSP4Pollinators)
  • Identification of genes and metabolic pathways involved in the degradation Pentachlorphenol in Drosophila melanogaster and in fungal species to develop new strategies to recover soils contaminated by polyhalogenated haromatic hydrocarbons.
  • Evaluation of in situ composting techniques in the chestnut in reducing overwintering stages of phytophagous and compost effect in promoting defence mechanism in plant
  • Study of pathogen-plant, plant-BCA (Biological Control Agent) and BCA-pathogen interactions throught ‘omic’ approaches
  • Monitoring and Morpho-bio-molecular characterization and eradication strategies of damaging and invasive species (Insects, fungi, bacteria and viruses).
  • Integrative characterization of parasitoids and predators.
  • Development of biocontrol programs and eco-sustainable strategies aimed at protecting plants from threatening organisms (Insects, fungi, bacteria and viruses)
  • Development of diagnostic protocols to identify invasive organisms (through real-time PCR, LAMP, biochemicals marker)
  • Studies about interactions between vector/host insects and symbionts.
  • Furthermore, IPSP Portici Unit assists and provides advice to Plant Protection Services, EPPO, Universities, other agriculture research Institutes and biofactories.
  • Integrative characterization (morphological, molecular, phylogenetic, bio-ecological, karyological) of insects of agricultural interest, with particular reference to parasitoid Hymenoptera, the main group of biological control agents.
  • Symbiotic interactions between insects and bacteria: impact of bacterial endosymbionts on reproduction, bio-ecology, adaptation to environmental stressors, evolution and speciation of the insect hosts.
  • Biological control of insect pests through the conservation and the augmentation of natural enemy populations (parasitoids and predators) and the introduction of natural enemies from the areas of origin of invasive alien species (classical biological control)
  • Research and characterization of resistance to phytoviruses;
  • Study of relationships among plant, virus and vector with special reference to viruses transmitted by Bemisia tabaci