- Virus characterization and virus diagnostic laboratory: this lab monitors local crops (horticultural, ornamental and fruit) for possible viral diseases. In this laboratory we characterize new viruses in their molecular and biological features through infectious clones we assemble. The laboratory is equipped with preparative and ultracentrifuges for virus purification, and everything required for nucleic acid analysis. It has annexed an electron microscopy for immediate morphologica classification of viruses through leaf dips. It is also equipped with all the basic instruments for sierological and molecular diagnostics. A server is dedicated to diagnostic through NGS approaches.
- Laboratory of diagnostics and characterization of phytoplasmas and interactions with their hosts: the laboratory deals with the diagnosis and molecular characterization of phytoplasmas of ornamental, vegetable, fruit and spontaneous species. In particular, the laboratory develops and validates protocols for the diagnosis and quantification of phytoplasmas with particular reference to the etiological agents of grapevine yellow (Flavescence dorée and Bois noir) and apple proliferation (AP). The laboratory also deals with gene expression and functional genomics of phytoplasmas, in particular FD and “Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris”, and gene expression of plants and vector insects during the infection process. The activities aim at identofying the molecular mechanisms involved in plant resistance to phytoplasma diseases as well as those that determine the efficiency and specificity of transmission of these bacteria by the vectors. The activities on the vector microbiome aim at developing new control strategies for plant pathogen control. The laboratory uses preparative centrifuges, ultracentrifuges, and instruments for the characterization of nucleic acids by Southern and northern blots, as well as the facilities of the electron microscopy laboratory. It has instruments for serological diagnosis (western blot) and for molecular diagnosis by hybridization, RT-PCR and qRT-PCR. The laboratory also uses the facilities and expertise of the bioinformatics group and manages an in vivo collection of phytoplasmas.
- Functional Genomics and Ecophysiology lab: functional genomics studies are performed in grapevine and model plants. The laboratory is equipped for molecular biology analyses with centrifuges, fume hoods and thermal cyclers, for plant in vitro culture and propagation with sterile laminar flow hoods and growth chamber (with LED lighting). Furthermore, the laboratory is equipped with instrumentation for ecophysiology studies (ADC BioScientific LCpro-SD, pressure chamber and fluorometer).
- Microscopy Lab: the laboratory has a transmission electron microscope, an optical microscope with epifluorescence, dissecting microscopes, an ultramicrotome, a microtome, a vibrating microtome, and all the equipment and materials for preparing and observing samples in optical and electronic microscopy, for sectioning and for negative and positive staining.
- Laboratory of Biology of plant interactions: studies are performed on plant interactions with soil microorganisms and the growth environment. The laboratory is equipped with the facilities for molecular biology (DNA and RNA extraction from plant and microbial samples, centrifuge, PCR machine, etc.), cellular biology (staining for optical microscopy, affinity techniques and immunolabeling for electron microscopy, in situ hybridization) and microbiology (bacterial and fungal cultures, in vitro mycorrhizal synthesis).