Plants have evolved diverse mechanisms to react against biotic and abiotic environmental stimuli. These mechanisms are often mediated by naturally occurring chemicals. Indeed, plants are able to produce complex mixtures of organic compounds (volatiles and non volatiles) that can play a key role in response to stress and in the interaction with other organisms (animals, insects and microrganisms).
The research carried out by our group is mainly focused on chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and role of these natural compounds involved in plant-environment interactions also for their potential application.
Main techniques: metabolomic (GC-MS, HPLC-ESI-MS/MS, capillary electrophoresis) and transcriptomic (qPCR and microarray) analyses, aimed to characterize the molecules involved in these processes and to understand how they function in nature.
Main research lines:
Plant-herbivore interactions (Model systems:Phaseolus lunatus/Spodoptera littoralis, Arabidopsis
thaliana/Spodoptera littoralis, Mentha aquatica/Chrysolina herbacea, Ginkgo biloba/Spodoptera littoralis).
Plant-environment interactions (Mentha piperita/UV-B)