Gianni Della Rocca

My scientific activity, is mainly devoted to the study of i) the pre-infectional and induced defence mechanisms in conifers subjected to biotic (cortical fungal pathogens) aimed at the evaluation of low-impact molecules to be used as ‘biofungicides’; ii) the genetic improvement of Cupressus sempervirens by population studies aimed at the selection (and patent) of genotypes based on desired characters such as the resistance to biotic (study of anatomical basis, biochemical and genetic resistance to main pathogens) and abiotic (resistance to drought and frost), the habits, the growth and the reduced pollen production; iii) the evaluation of the virulence variability of fungal pathogens by the characterization of populations with biological, morphometric and molecular assays, (genotyping of isolates and study of the genetic variability of populations); as well as iv) the role of BVOCs in relations with biotic factors (role in plant defence against pathogens and predators) and abiotic (temperature, radiation, humidity, atmospheric pollutants) by GC-MS and PTR-MS techniques.

Currently my research are addressed to
a) the study of phenotypic plasticity in invasive fungal populations with particular reference to pathosystem Cupressus sempervirens – Seiridium cardinale;
b) the induction in content and emission of terpene compounds and accumulation of phenolic compounds as response to canker agents infection in conifers (pathogen-host-environment interaction);
c) mechanisms of biotransformation of terpenes produced by plants for their defence by pathogenic fungi;
d) the study of the possible role of Mediterranean species in the mitigation of the forest fires risk (by tests of combustibility) of Mediterranean forest tree species in relation to the water and terpene content.

I have benefited from scholarships for several stays in foreign research institutes (UC Berkeley USA, INIA-CIFOR Madrid, CREAF Barcelona, INRA Antibes, etc.), where I studied ecophysiological aspects related to the role of BVOCs emissions in response to abiotic stress factors, and concerning forest pathology, with reference to the systemic induced resistance as a result of infection with cortical pathogens and the genetic variability of the pathogenic microorganisms.

Articles and book chapters since 2008

  • 2019 - Molecular analyses indicate that both native and exotic pathogen populations serve as sources of novel outbreaks of Cypress Canker Disease - Della Rocca G., Danti R., Williams N., Eyre C., Garbelotto M. - Biological invasions, 1-14
  • 2019 - La cipresseta di Fontegreca – Una risorsa naturalistica ed economica del territorio - Danti R., Apuzzo S., Della Rocca G., Di Lonardo V., Raddi P., Montoro A., Della Valle F. - Sherwood, 240: 39-41
  • 2018 - Drought response of Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. inoculated with ACC deaminase and IAA producing rhizobacteria - Saleem A.R., Brunetti C., Khalid A., Della Rocca G., Raio A., Emiliani G., De Carlo A., Mahmood T., Centritto M. - Plos One , volume 13
  • 2018 - Flammability of two mediterranean mixed forests: Study of the non-additive effect of fuel mixtures in laboratory - Della Rocca G., Danti R., Hernando C., Guijarro M., Madrigal J. - Frontiers in plant science, volume 9
  • 2018 - Identification and Pathogenicity of Pestalotiopsis chamaeropis, Causal Agent of White Heather (Erica arborea) Dieback, and in vitro Biocontrol with the Antagonist Trichoderma sp. - Hlaiem S., Zouaoui-Boutiti M., Ben Jemâa M.L., Della Rocca G., Barberini S., Danti R. - Tunisian journal of plant protection, 13: 49-60
  • 2018 - Different clonal responses to cypress canker disease based on transcription of suberin-related genes and bark carbohydrates’ content - Danti R., Rotordam M.G., Emiliani G., Giovannelli A., Papini A., Tani C., Della Rocca G., Barberini S. - Trees, 32: 1707-1722
  • 2018 - Resistance to Cypress Canker Disease in Italian cypress has desirable effects on disease epidemiology, but may fail against novel genotypes of the pathogen Seiridium cardinale - Della Rocca G., Danti R., Popenuck T., Di Lonardo V., Garbelotto M. - Forest ecology and management, 424: 259-266
  • 2018 - Giant reed genotypes from temperate and arid environments show different response mechanisms to drought - Zegada-Lizarazu W., Della Rocca G., Centritto M., Parenti A., Monti A. - Physiologia Plantarum , 163: 490-501
  • 2018 - Avversità degli alberi e delle foreste - Roversi P.F., Capretti P., Ghelardini L., Sabbatini Peverieri G., MarianelliL., Paoli F., Mazza G., Simoncini S., Pennacchio F., Francardi V., Torrini G., Bastanti G.P., Danti R., Santini A., Turchetti T., Della Rocca G., Luchi N., Guidotti A., Del Nista D., Franchini G., Marziali L., Toccafondi P., Benassai D., Squarcini M., Benesperi F. - in: Rapporto Sullo Stato Delle Foreste In Toscana 2016 , pag. 94-102
  • 2018 - Cupressus stephensonii C. B. Wolf, 1948 - Raddi P., Della Rocca G., Danti R. - in: Enzyklopädie Der Holzgewächse: Handbuch Und Atlas Der Dendrologie ,
  • 2017 - Epidemiological History of Cypress Canker Disease in Source and Invasion Sites - Danti R., Della Rocca G. - Forests , 8(4): 121
  • 2017 - Clonal consistency of wood technological properties in canker-resistant Cupressus sempervirens clones at two contrasting sites - Nocetti M., Della Rocca G., Berti S., Brunetti M., Di Lonardo V., Pizzo B., Danti R. - Tree Genetics & Genomes ,
  • 2017 - Ecology of invasive forest pathogens - Ghelardini L., Luchi N., Pecori F., Pepori A.L., Danti R., Della Rocca G., Capretti P., Tsopelas P., Santini A. - Biological Invasions , 1-18
  • 2017 - Relevance of terpenoids on flammability of Mediterranean species: an experimental approach at a low radiant heat flux - Della Rocca G., Madrigal J., Marchi E., Michelozzi M., Moya B, Danti R. - Iforest , 10: 766-775
  • 2017 - First Report of Seiridium cardinale Causing Bark Cankers on MacNab Cypress (Cupressus macnabiana) in California - Della Rocca G., Danti R., Garbelotto M. - Plant Disease ,
  • 2016 - Terpene arms race in the Seiridium cardinale – Cupressus sempervirens pathosystem - Achotegui-castells A., Della Rocca G., Llusia J., Danti R., Barberini S., Bouneb M., Simoni S., Michelozzi M., Penuelas J. - Scientific Reports , volume 6
  • 2015 - Different allergenicity of pollen extracts of three Mediterranean cypress species accounted for cytological observations - Barberini S., Della Rocca G., Danti R., Zanoni D., Mori B., Ariano R., Mistrello G. - European annals of allergy and clinical immunology, 47:149-155
  • 2015 - Genetic growth parameters and morphological traits of canker-resistant cypress clones selected for timber production - Nocetti M., Della Rocca G., Berti S., Brunetti M., Di Lonardo V., Danti R. - Tree genetics & genomes, 11:73
  • 2015 - Strong Induction of Minor Terpenes in Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, in Response to Infection by the Fungus Seiridium cardinale - Achotegui-Castells A., Danti R., Llusia J., Della Rocca G., Barberini S., Penuelas J. - Journal of Chemical Ecology, 41:224-43
  • 2015 - Possible land management uses of common cypress to reduce wildfire initation risk: a laboratory study - Della Rocca G., Hernando C., Madrigal J., Danti R., Moya J., Guijarro M., Pecchioli A., Moya B. - Journal of environmental management, 159:68-77
  • 2014 - The epidemic spread of Seiridium cardinale on leyland cypress severely limits its use in the Mediterranean - Danti R., Barberini S., Pecchioli A., Di Lonardo V., Della Rocca G. - Plant Disease , 98: 1081-1087
  • 2014 - Implementation of the “cypress system” as a green firewall - Della Rocca G., Danti R., Raddi P., Moya B., Moya J. - Foret Mediterrannenne , XXXV: 275-280
  • 2013 - ‘Le Crete 1′ and ‘Le Crete 2′: two newly patented Seiridium cardinale canker-resistant cultivars of Cupressus sempervirens - Danti R., Di Lonardo V., Pecchioli A., Della Rocca G. - Forest Pathology , 43:204-210
  • 2013 - AFLP analyses of California and Mediterranean populations of Seiridium cardinale provide insights on its origin, biology and spread pathways - Della Rocca G., Osmundson T., Danti R., Doulis A., Pecchioli A., Donnarumma F., Casalone E., Garbelotto M. - Forest Pathology , 43:211-221
  • 2012 - First Report Of Botryosphaeria Iberica Associated With Dieback And Tree Mortality Of Monterey Cypress (cupressus Macrocarpa) In Algeria - Azouaoui-idjer G., Della Rocca G., Pecchioli A., Bouznad Z., Danti R. - Plant Disease , 96:1073
  • 2011 - Sequence and simple-sequence repeat analyses of the fungal pathogen Seiridium cardinale indicate California is the most likely source of the cypress canker epidemic for the Mediterranean region - Della Rocca G., Eyre C.A., Danti R., Garbelotto M. - Phytopathology , 101: 1408-1417
  • 2011 - Biocontrol of cypress canker by the phenazine producer Pseudomonas chlororaphis subsp. aureofaciens strain M71 - Raio A., Puopolo G., Cimmino A., Danti R., Della Rocca G., Evidente A. - Biological Control (Print), 58: 133-138
  • 2011 - First Report of Seiridium unicorne Causing Bark Cankers on a Monterey Cypress in California - Della Rocca G., Danti R., Garbelotto M. - Plant Disease , 95: 619
  • 2011 - Insights into a hydration regulating system in Cupressus pollen grains - Danti R., Della Rocca G., Calamassi R., Mori B., Mariotti Lippi M. - Annals Of Botany (Print), 108(2): 299-306
  • 2011 - Newly-assessed fungicides for the control of cypress canker caused by Seiridium cardinale - Della Rocca G., Di Lonardo V., Danti R. - Phytopathologia Mediterranea (Testo stamp.), 50: 65-73
  • 2010 - Old World and New World Cupressus pollen: morphological and cytological remarks - Danti R., Della Rocca G., Mori B., Torraca G., Calamassi R., Mariotti Lippi M. - Plant Systematics And Evolution , 287:167-177
  • 2009 - Seiridium cardinale newly reported on Cupressus sempervirens in Morocco - Danti R., Della Rocca G., El Wahidi F. - Plant Pathology, 58:1174
  • 2008 - Uno sbarco sgradito - Parrini C., Braccini P., Della Rocca G., Panconesi A. - Acer , 24: 43-46