This research aim at:
- tracing, monitoring, preserving, characterizing and exploiting the biodiversity of species of interest for the agri-food sector, and the natural and agroforestry cosistems (including non-plant organisms) with the goal of securing their sustanability;
- enhancing the knowledge on the evolution of bioresources and their distribution and functional role, with the goal of securing their adaptive potential against stress factors generated by the climate change, and defining effective strategies of genetic improvement in the long run.
In particular, main research is focused on the following topics:
- Ex-situ management of plant genetic resources (PGR), and floristic-vegetation survey of rural systems with the purpose of conservation in situ / on farm / on garden / in vitro of agri-biodiversity.
- Morphological, physiological, biochemical and qualitative characterization through “-omic” approaches of PGR of (a) cultivated species, (b) primary and derived gene pools, and (c) species’ biodiversity found in natural and forest ecosystems;
- In-depth analysis of the molecular basis of adaptation to climate and environmental changes and to biotic stresses, as well as analysis of physiological and biochemical mechanisms driving the production of plant and fungal species.
- Development and utilization of new and efficient methods for genotyping, phenotyping, isolation of new allelic variants aimed at defining strategies for collection, conservation and identification of natural, forest and fungal PGR to be submitted to specific protection and tutelage.
- Bioinformatics approaches for the analysis and management of biological data.
Outcomes of the above activites allow to achieve optimal tools and strategies for an harmonized characterization and management of plant genetic diversity (mainly with adaptive significance), and to develop adequate methods for its certification, traceability, appraisal and sustainable use.