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We undertake research on different aspects of soil-crop-climate systems including pedology, nutrient cycling, plant ecophysiology, and water cycling in the soil-plant-climate system, in order to propose, apply and test agro-ecosystem models to field crops.

Research Objectives

A multidisciplinary group of scientists based at the Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences focuses its research on soil-crop-climate modeling, facing different aspects of pedology (Stanchi), of the nutrient cycling in soil-plant systems (Celi), of plant ecophysiology (Lovisolo), and of the water cycling in the soil-plant-climate system (Borreani), in order to propose, apply and test agro-ecosystem models to field crops (Sacco). The group is involved in two teaching partnerships on this topic.

Main knowhow and research experience of group-partners are related to: soil erosion and degradation (Stanchi), C and P cycling in both agricultural and forest systems (by focusing on soil organic matter and interconnected relationship with elements) (Celi), plant hydraulic conductance, xylem embolism and role of aquaporins (Lovisolo), crop evapotranspiration and related water dynamics in plant and atmosphere (Borreani), and cropping system modeling and evaluation (Sacco).

Areas of Scientific Expertise

Several funded projects are developed by the group:

  • R.T. Montalcini: Understanding xylem refilling: molecular and physiological perspectives. Project aimed to determine the cellular activity and signaling pathways in the xylem parenchyma cells during the process of xylem embolism formation and the subsequent restoration of hydraulic conductivity (Secchi).
  • RicEnergy: Energetic utilisation of rice straw. Project aimed at evaluating agronomic and environmental effects derived from energetic utilisation of rice straw (Sacco and Celi).
  • EnviFlour: Environmental friendly maize flour. Project aimed at defining the production process that leads to a maize flour characterised by low environmental impact of agricultural practices and transformation process (Sacco and Celi).
  • Sigevi: Vineyard-based management system for planning field interventions and harvest. Project aimed to develop a Decision Support System through meteorological and ecophysiological vintage monitoring (Lovisolo).
  • PoloRiso: Soil organic matter dynamics and N availability in paddy soils as affected by water and straw management (Celi and Sacco).
  • Bioenerwood: sustainable forest-timber-energy value chain (Zanini and Stanchi).
  • Bioenerwater: sustainable water-energy-timber value chain (Zanini and Stanchi).

The group holds various international partnerships with:

  • Plant Production Systems Group at WUR - Wageningen University and Research - The Netherland
  • Applied Plant Sciences Workgroup at Darmstadt University of Technology – Germany
  • Soil Science Department at Halle-Leipzig University – Germany
  • INRA Theix, Clermont-Ferrand – France

Research Facilities

Research of the group disposes of several facilities either in field or in laboratory, such as:

  • Long term experiment on maize-based forage and rice-based systems
  • Experimental vineyards
  • Control climate greenhouses
  • Laboratories and equipment for studies on plant molecular biology and ecophysiology
  • Laboratories and equipment for studies on soil and SOM physics and chemistry
  • Experimental plots for soil erosion assessment.

Research Group

  • Claudio Lovisolo
  • Francesca Secchi
  • Giorgio Borreani
  • Luisella Celi
  • Dario Sacco
  • Silvia Stanchi


We published more than 130 papers on ISI WoSTM indexed Journals, with increasing production and citations. Detailed lists of references are downloadable here below:

Claudio Lovisolo; Francesca Secchi; Dario Sacco; Luisella Celi; Silvia Stanchi; Giorgio Borreani.


Prodotti della ricerca

Hugueney Ph., Provenzano S., Verriès C., Ferrandino A., Meudec E., Batelli G., Mrdinoglu D., Cheynier V., Schubert A., Ageorges A.
A novel cation-dependent O-methyltransferase involved in anthocyanin methylation in grapevine

Carra A, Mica E, Gambino G, Pindo P, Moser C, Pè M, Schubert A
Cloning and characterization of small non-coding RNAs from grape

I. Visentin, G. Tamietti, D. Valentino, E. Portis, P. Karlovsky, A. Moretti, F. Cardinale
The ITS region as a taxonomic discriminator between Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum

Lovisolo C, Perrone I, Carra A, Ferrandino A, Flexas J, Medrano H, Schubert A
Drought-induced changes in development and function of grapevine (Vits spp.) organs and their hydraulic and non-hydraulic interactions at the whole-plant level: a physiological and molecular update

Giribaldi M, Gény L, Delrot S, Schubert A
Proteomic analysis of the effects of ABA treatments on ripening Vitis vinifera berries

D. Francia and A. Chiltz and F. Lo Schiavo and A. Pugin and P. Bonfante and F. Cardinale
AM fungal exudates activate MAP kinases in plant cells in dependence from cytosolic Ca2+ increase

V. Fiorilli and M. Catoni and D. Francia and F. Cardinale and L. Lanfranco
The arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis reduces disease severity in tomato plants infected by Botrytis cinerea

F. Secchi, ME. Gilbert, MA. Zwieniecki
Transcriptome response to embolism formation in stems of Populus trichocarpa provides insight into signaling and biology of refilling.



Ultimo aggiornamento: 19/03/2015 12:00
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