Dr. Roberta Marra has been largely interested in the study of the interactions between plants and microorganisms, that represented the main topic of her PhD and of numerous research contracts that involved academic partners and private companies. Research activities have included the use of various techniques, such as molecular analysis (in particular genomics, proteomics and metabolomics) applied to the study of the interactions that involve plants, pathogens and biocontrol agents like Trichoderma; chemical and biochemical characterization of compounds using advanced analytical techniques (enzymatic activity assays, chromatography, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, etc.); the design and setup of in vitro and in vivo assays using plants and microorganisms; analysis and processing of data obtained from the experiments with preparation of scientific reports.
Dr Marra is author of over 50 articles published in national and international scientific journals, reviews, book chapters, abstracts and proceedings of congresses largely in the field of plant pathology. She is reviewer of various international journals in the fields of plant pathology, microbiology, biotechnology and biology. Dr Marra is co-author of a patent for a new biopesticide and biotechnology applied to Plant Pathology.
Research interests include:
- Study of molecular factors that regulate multi-component interaction between plant, pathogen and biocontrol agent.
- Screening and evaluation of the efficacy of new biocontrol agents to be used for plant disease control.
- Characterization of enzymes and toxins produced by phytopatogenic fungi and bacteria.
- Study of microbial agents and secondary metabolites produced by beneficial microbes to be used in biocontrol or bioremediation strategies.
- Evaluation of the role of microbial agents or natural compounds to promote plant growth.