My main scientific interest is focused on the study of plant (grapevine in particular) responses to environmental stresses, with specific attention to the physiological and molecular mechanisms either triggering or regulating these processes. Deepening current knowledge on these topics is indeed a necessary research challenge not only for improving the sustainability of current agronomical practices, but also for supporting and empowering future breeding programs aimed at selecting new crop genotypes with enhanced adaptability to recent climate changes.
The research activity carried out during the PhD concerned the characterization of eco-physiological and molecular responses in grapevine plants exposed to drought stress, by combining the application of physiology, transcriptomics and metabolomics.
During the following period as Post Doc at the University of Torino, I further deepened the study of biological processes underlying plant physiological responses to abiotic stress, working not only on grapevine, but also on other species of agronomic interest, such as poplar and tomato. Particular care was directed to the crucial role of key molecules involved in signalling cascades, such as small RNAs, by using grafted plants. In parallel, a specific research line was addressed to investigate molecular and biochemical mechanisms involved in the recovery of xylem embolisms induced by water stress in woody plant stem.
More recently, I have also studied the physiological and molecular interactions at the base of the still debated recovery process spontaneously occurring in grapevine plants affected by Flavescence dorèe phytoplasma (INTEFLAVI project).
Moreover, I am co-founder of the start-up company GRAPE.