Stefano Ghignone is Research Scientist at Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante (IPSP-CNR), UOS Torino, since November 2011.
He graduated in Biological Sciences in 2000 at the University of Turin, discussing a thesis entitled “Identification of isolates of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilici from seeds and basil plants by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD-PCR)”. After thesis, he has been interested in the molecular methods for the identification of microorganisms, developing skills in the study of phylogenetic relationships between conspecific isolates of phytopathogenic fungi, of sterile radical endophytic fungi and other mushrooms. These activities have led to the development of molecular tools for the diagnosis and identification of fungal species of plant pathogens (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilici and Rhizopycnis vagum) and prized edible mushrooms (Boletus spp.).
He obtained the Master’s Degree in Bioinformatics, 110/110 cum laude, in 2003 with a thesis entitled “Searching for non-coding RNAs on chromosome I of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” Along with the rise of new sequencing technologies he has improved his computer skills applied to biology (Bioinformatics) and in programming languages. He designed, developed and currently maintains the first database of specific primers for the identification of phytopathogenic fungi (SPPADBASE).
His research is mainly focused on genomic/transcriptomic of symbiotic organisms and on metagenomic/metagenetic of soil microbiomes. In particular, he studies the genome/transcriptome of the ectomychorrizal fungi Tuber melanosporum (precious Black Truffle) and T. magnatum (precious White Truffle), the Arbuscular Mychorrizal fungi Rhizophagus irregularis and Gigaspora margarita, and the genome of the bacteria Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum, endosymbiont of G. margarita, and “Mollicutes-related endobacteria” symbionts of Dentiscutata heterogama. Furthermore, he studies the biodiversity of fungal communities of different types of natural and agricultural soils and associated with the root system of plants of agronomic interest, by means of new sequencing technologies and analyzed with methods of numerical ecology.
The scientific activity led to the publication as a co-author of 22 articles in journals with impact factor, 3 articles in journals without impact factor, 5 book chapters, and numerous posters/conference papers, 11 of which are published in conference proceedings .
He’s currently involved in several regional, national and international research projects (EcoFINDERS, Pure, AGER-RISINNOVA, V2P2repository, JGI CSP 2014 Proposal 1450, MYCOPLANT, CIPE-BIOBITS).
Personal GitHub repository: https://github.com/sghignone